Sunday, December 4, 2011

Enrollment, staffing, and a possible option for teacher learning time

In the fall of 2008, Kentucky enrolled 1.35 percent of all students enrolled in public schools nationwide in pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

Our share of public school staff was at or below that 1.35 percent level in three categories, with Kentucky having:
  • 1.05 percent of student support staff nationwide
  • 1.28 percent of instruction coordinators
  • 1.34 percent of administrative support staff
  • 1.35 percent of teachers

 Our share of public school staff was above the nationwide level in the other categories, including:
  • 1.36 percent of guidance counselors nationwide
  • 1.50 percent of officials and administrators
  • 1.91 percent of principals and assistant principals
  • 1.92 percent of instructional aides
  • 2.03 percent of other support services staff
  • 2.08 percent of librarians
  • 2.13 percent of school and library support staff

If instead, Kentucky schools and districts had consistently had 1.39 percent of each kind of staff, we would have had:
  • 771 additional student support staff
  •  51 additional instruction coordinators
  •  31 additional administrative support staff
  •  62 additional teachers
  •  4 fewer guidance counselors
  •  92 fewer officials and administrators
  •  889 fewer principals and assistant principals

  •  393 fewer librarians
  •  2,212 fewer school and library support staff
  •  4,155 fewer instructional aides
  •  7,990 fewer other support services staff
  • 14,819 fewer total p-12 employees

Back in March 2009, I posted a similar analysis using Fall 2005 data. As I wrote then:
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.
Later that year, after updating with Fall 2006 numbers, I added a question I still think is important: 
To build teaching quality, we should want every teacher involved in professional learning community work as part of every workweek. Could we change these numbers, either adding teachers or lengthening teachers’ workdays, to make that collaborative time easier to find?
(Source note: the data for this analysis comes from the Digest of Education Statistics 2010, using tables 38 and 85. The staff analysis is based on full-time equivalents.)

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Updates and data on Kentucky education!