The Public Policy Forum, a Milwaukee-based nonpartisan public policy research organization, has published a teacher workforce analysis that surveys key characteristics of public school teachers in the 53 school districts within Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties, between the years of 2009-10 and 2013-14, the most recent year for which data is available.
The analysis identified a number of trends and patterns in teacher workforce over that period of time:
- The number of teachers in the metro area has declined by 700 since 2009-10, with most of the decrease coming from MPS, which lost 730 teachers.
- The teaching workforce is predominately white, with minority teachers comprising just 10.9 percent of educators despite students of color making up 43.9 percent of enrollments.
- Twenty percent of teachers over the age of 55 have left the profession in recent years. The average experience level fell to 12.7 years, though the average age remains unchanged at 43 years, indicating the workforce is less experienced, but not necessarily younger.
- Just 1 percent of teachers are assigned to English as a Second Language courses, despite English Language Learners comprising 5.3 percent of enrollments.
- Teacher mobility between districts exists, but with only 6.8 percent of teachers moving over the recent five-year period examined, the analysis concludes mobility is not a widespread issue.
While the analysis is instructive, the report’s author admits the findings are incomplete (for example, they lacked the ability to include data on teachers from private schools) and say it raises more questions than answers. The Public Policy Forum aims to do further research on the topic.
The report is the first in a three-part series. The second report will analyze principals, assistant principals and superintendents in the metro area, and the third report will analyze the teacher workforce pipeline.
Read More: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel