Analyzing the Demand for Instructional Personnel in the Virginia Public School System: 1999-2000
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Converging demographic, societal, and political conditions are raising concerns among educational policy makers regarding Virginia's capacity to meet the demand for high quality instructional personnel. The variables affecting demand include shifts in student enrollments, efforts to meet Virginia Standards of Accreditation, retirement rate, efforts to increase diversity in instructional positions, efforts to reduce staffing ratios, increased technology in the classroom, legislative mandates, competition for instructional personnel, salary and other quality of life issues, rising licensure standards, and non-public school pupil enrollment.
This research is a quantitative study that combines descriptive and correlational research methods. One purpose of this study is to aggregate and summarize data from Virginia school districts that will provide important information for educational policy makers. The second purpose is to create a paradigm that will quantify and rank order the variables that affect the demand for educators in Virginia. The third purpose of this study is to place school districts into groupings according to variables that influence demand for instructional personnel. The k-means cluster analysis procedure was utilized for this purpose.
The Virginia Public School Systems' Instructional Personnel Profile: 1999-2000, a survey commissioned by the Virginia Department of Education, was sent to the 132 Virginia public school districts. A total of 126 school districts responded. This survey provided the data used in this study. This survey was developed because there is no uniform, statewide system to collect demographic data for PreK-12 instructional personnel in Virginia.
The results find that Virginia is experiencing shortages of instructional personnel. Special education, mathematics, science, and technology endorsement areas are expected to experience the most critical shortages. Competition from other Virginia school districts, retirement, efforts to reduce teacher to pupil ratios, and salaries are reported as the variables that most influence demand for personnel. Virginia public school districts are clustered into two groups using the k-means cluster analysis procedure.
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