Student Teaching and the Geography of Teacher Shortages
Prior research has shown that about 15% of teachers are hired into the same school in which they student taught, about 40% are hired into their student teaching district, and the location of teachers’ student teaching placements is more predictive of where they are hired than where they went to high school or college. While this suggests that strategic student teaching placements are a potential policy lever for addressing regional teacher shortages, there is no prior empirical evidence of a relationship between student teaching placements and teacher shortages. In this paper, we describe research from Washington state that descriptively explores the relationship between student teaching placements and a proxy for teacher shortages, the proportion of new teacher hires in a school or district with emergency teaching credentials. We find that schools and districts that host fewer student teachers tend to hire significantly more new teachers with emergency credentials the following year, and that these relationships are robust to controlling for school and district urbanicity, distance to a teacher education program, and other observable school and district characteristics. This descriptive evidence suggests exploring efforts to place student teachers in schools and districts that struggle to staff their classrooms.
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