Posted at 2:59 PM on February 23, 2012
by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Education
There's a common lament that teachers end up teaching topics they have no business teaching: They might have been trained to teach English but here they are trying to dissect a frog in biology.
It's definitely a problem in some states, but not in Minnesota, where nearly 9 of 10 public high school teachers are teaching in their fields of expertise.
Below is a chart I put together from a National Center for Education Statistics report examining the credentials of teachers in core subjects in 2007-2008.Teachers were considered to be teaching in-field if they had majored in the subjects they taught.
It stands to reason that if you focused on a subject in college you're better equipped to teach it. The research isn't definitive on whether this leads to higher student achievement. Still, if you're looking for ways to judge teacher quality, Minnesota looks really good on this measure. And Wisconsin looks great.
|State||% teachers with a major in|
main teaching assignment
You can find all the data here.