Reposted from EdSource:
Enrollments in teacher preparation programs in California are continuing to decline at a precipitous rate, according to new figures from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. In the 2012-13 school year, the last year for which figures are available, enrollments in teacher preparation programs dropped to 19,933 – down 53 percent from 2008-09. Over an 11-year period, enrollments have declined by 74 percent, from a high of 77,700 in 2001-02. The commission will review the figures along with its “Annual Report Card on California Teacher Preparation” at its meeting in Sacramento on Friday.
The declining enrollments are coming at an especially challenging time for California schools. The state’s nearly 1,000 school districts are embarking on a slew of new reforms – including the Common Core standards, the New Generation Science Standards, Smarter Balanced assessments and focusing on several new “priority areas” specified in the state’s new school financing law – that will require a highly trained and enthusiastic workforce to ensure their success.
“It is becoming quite alarming now,” said Stanford University professor Linda Darling-Hammond, who is also chair of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. “Our capacity is much impaired to what it once was to get new teachers with the kind of recruitment incentives we had, to assist them with induction (teacher support) programs, and to retain them over their careers.” Darling-Hammond said some of the enrollment declines are related to years of teacher layoffs due to the state’s budget crisis. “People don’t want to go into a profession where there are no jobs,” she said.