Student learning and teacher retention for graduates of Texas Noyce programs

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Abstract

The shortage of secondary STEM teachers has led to periodic calls over the past four decades for federal intervention. For more than 15 years, the National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program has constituted the most important response at the national level to these calls. The main activity is direct support to undergraduate students and degree holders to become K-12 STEM teachers. Here we examine the Noyce program by looking beyond the qualities of particular university programs and measuring long-term outcomes on a statewide level. We accomplished this through a collaboration of eight Texas universities that pooled data on Noyce scholars supported as far back as 2003. Making use of a state longitudinal dataset, we examined whether recipients of Noyce Scholarships are more likely than other math and science teachers to remain in teaching, determined where Noyce scholars taught, and estimated student learning in classes taught by Noyce Scholars. Noyce Scholars are more likely than other STEM teachers from the same universities to teach marginalized students, and students of Noyce Scholars obtained higher value-added scores in mathematics than students of other teachers at the same schools. These are some of the most important intended outcomes. However, Noyce Scholars did not stay in teaching as long as other STEM teachers from their universities, and they were more likely to switch away from schools with low-income students. The Noyce program currently operates far below the scale needed to start reducing national STEM teacher shortages. We conclude with prospects for expansion and modification of the Noyce program.

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How to Cite
Marder, M., Horn, C., Stephens, S., & Rhodes, A. (2022). Student learning and teacher retention for graduates of Texas Noyce programs. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 30, (147). https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.30.7254
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Author Biographies

Michael Marder, The University of Texas at Austin

Michael Marder is Professor of Physics and Executive Director of UTeach at The University of Texas at Austin. His interest in studying educational data stemmed from over 20 years of work preparing STEM teachers at UT Austin and dozens of other universities.

Catherine Horn, University of Houston

Dr. Catherine Horn is Moores Professor and Chair, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and Executive Director of the Institute for Educational Policy Research and Evaluation within the College of Education at the University of Houston. She is also the Director for the Center for Research and Advancement of Teacher Education and focuses on the systemic influences of secondary and postsecondary assessment and related policies on the learning trajectories of students especially for students traditionally underserved by the education and social sectors.

Sarah Stephens, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Sarah Stephens is an Associate Lecturer of Physics at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and previously at The University of Texas at Austin. As a graduate student and post-doctoral researcher at UT Austin and the Texas Education Research Center, Sarah worked on a variety of educational research projects that investigated topics including longitudinal outcomes of K-12 assessments, teacher preparation pathways, long-term career and technology education outcomes, and STEM course-taking patterns.

Annelies Rhodes, The University of Texas at Austin

Annelies Rhodes is a graduate student in STEM Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Her interests lie in the use of educational data to inform policy. Her current projects include the use of GPA as a criterion for teacher certification and the effects of teachers from various certification pathways on student learning.