Public school administration staff surges in growth while test scores plunge

by Grace

The School Staffing Surge: Decades of Employment Growth in America’s Public Schools

America’s K-12 public education system has experienced tremendous historical growth in employment, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Between fiscal year (FY) 1950 and FY 2009, the number of K-12 public school students in the United States increased by 96 percent while the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) school employees grew 386 percent. Public schools grew staffing at a rate four times faster than the increase in students over that time period. Of those personnel, teachers’ numbers increased 252 percent while administrators and other staff experienced growth of 702 percent, more than seven times the increase in students.

20130812.COCUSK12StaffingBloat19501

Between FY 1992 and FY 2009, the number of K-12 public school students nationwide grew 17 percent while the number of full-time equivalent school employees increased 39 percent, 2.3 times greater than the increase in students over that 18-year period. Among school personnel, teachers’ staffing numbers rose 32 percent while administrators and other staff experienced growth of 46 percent; the growth in the number of administrators and other staff was 2.7 times that of students.

20130812.COCUSK12StaffingBloat19921


Here are the staggering growth rates for New York State.

20130812.COCK12StaffingBloat1


ADMINISTRATORS OUTNUMBER TEACHERS IN 25 STATES, an increase from the original report.

From the report:

Twenty-one “Top-Heavy States” employed fewer teachers than other non-teaching personnel in 2009. Thus, those 21 states have more administrators and other non-teaching staff on the public payroll than teachers. Virginia “leads the way” with 60,737 more administrators and other non-teaching staff than teachers in its public schools.

Professor Mark Perry updated staffing numbers for 2010, and was amazed to find the “administrative and non-teaching bloat” in America’s public schools has gotten even worse, with 25 states now employing more “educrats than teachers.”  Across the entire country, there is a one-to-one ratio of teachers to non-teaching staff.

PUBLIC SCHOOL STAFFING IN UNITED STATES (2010)

TEACHERS

NON-TEACHING STAFF

NON-TEACHING STAFF PER 100 TEACHERS

3,099,095

3,096,113

99.9


In related news, New York students’ scores take huge plunge in new state school tests.

Statewide, only 31 percent of students in third through eighth grades met or exceeded the proficiency standards in English and math this year, a drop of more than half compared with last year….

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2 Comments to “Public school administration staff surges in growth while test scores plunge”

  1. The plunge happened because of the switch to Common Core standards and has nothing to do with staffing levels. Your staffing numbers are 1992 to 2009, whereas the plunge is a one shot deal in 2013. Plus, did you see that the charter schools had worse plunges (except for one case) than the regular public schools? Seems that their heavilly scripted, teach-to-test methods don’t work that well when kids are tested on real standards.
    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/08/new-york-fails-common-core-tests-95304.html
    http://garyrubinstein.teachforus.org/2013/08/09/driven-by-data/

  2. If you believe that the new standards are a long-overdue improvement, then the plunge in test scores is an example of how increasing funding for education does not necessarily lead to improved achievement levels. That was my point in including this info in the post.

    I was a bit surprised to see the poor results for the KIPP schools, but I don’t recall ever hearing that NYC charters overall employ heavily scripted teaching methods.

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