Monday, March 30, 2009

Enrollment, staff, puzzle

In the fall of 2005, Kentucky had:
  • 1.38% of elementary and secondary enrollment nationwide
Our share of elementary and secondary staff was smaller than 1.38% in three categories:
  • 1.31% of district officials and administrators nationwide
  • 1.34% of principals and assistant principals
  • 1.35% of teachers
Our share of staff was larger than 1.38% in other categories, so that we had:
  • 1.41% of guidance counselors nationally
  • 1.45% of student support staff (not listed as district or school in the NCES report I used for this analysis)
  • 1.46% of district administrative support staff
  • 1.92% of district instruction coordinators
  • 1.97% of school and library support staff
  • 2.00% of other support services staff (not listed as district or school)
  • 2.02% of instructional aides
  • 2.05% of librarians
If instead, Kentucky schools and districts had consistently had 1.38% of each kind of staff, we would have had:
  • 47 more district officials and administrators
  • 67 more principals and assistant principals
  • 1,011 more teachers
  • 26 fewer guidance counselors
  • 149 fewer student support staff
  • 120 fewer district administrative support staff
  • 254 fewer district instruction coordinators
  • 363 fewer librarians
  • 1,756 fewer school and library support staff
  • 4,435 fewer instructional aides
  • 7,208 fewer other support services staff
Those differences invite some discussion. I’m not arguing that Kentucky should staff schools to those averages. There may be important benefits to what we do differently, and our students may have different needs. I do think, though, that this is an interesting mirror to look in, inviting us to think about how we currently staff public education.

(Source: I've shown how I calculated the the numbers above in a one-page analysis here, using data from the Digest of Education Statistics 2007 here.)

1 comment:

  1. Susan,

    Welcome to the group that questions staffing ratios in our public schools.

    I agree fully that we need to examine the very unusual staffing ratios in Kentucky versus the rest of the nation. In fact, I’ve been saying that for years, as your readers can learn by surfing here.


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