The Geography of the New Teacher Pipeline (2015-1)

Eric J. Lichtenberger, Bradford R. White, and Karen J. DeAngelis

The purpose of this study was to demonstrate how data on the geography of Illinois’ new teacher pipeline can be used to inform the design of policies and practices to improve the supply of academically skilled, diverse individuals into teaching in the state’s public schools. This study builds on a prior IERC study which connects data for two cohorts of Illinois students, the public high school classes of 2002 and 2003. To address the research questions regarding the role that geography plays in where new teachers obtain their first teaching employment, we focus our analyses on the 7,209 new teachers who emerged from these two Illinois high school cohorts. The study establishes that labor markets for new teachers overall tend to be quite small geographically and that the geographic size of new teacher labor markets was more closely linked to characteristics of a teacher’s high school than to his or her academic qualifications. Other findings suggests that all new teachers, not just those in urban environments, will need to be prepared for the possibility of working in substantially different educational settings from what they experienced as students.

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