A diverse and highly qualified chemistry teaching workforce is critical for preparing equally diverse, qualified STEM professionals. Here, we analyze National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) data to provide a demographic comparison of the U.S. secondary chemistry teaching population in high-needs and non-high-needs public schools as well as private schools during the 2011–2012 academic year. Our analysis reveals that the chemistry teaching workforce is predominantly white and significantly lacks in-field degrees or certification across school types, though high-needs and private schools are most affected by this lack of teacher qualification. Given these results, we attempt to retrosynthetically identify the pathway yielding a qualified chemistry teaching workforce to draw attention to the various steps in this scheme where reform efforts on the part of individual faculty, academic institutions, and organizations can be concentrated.

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Published in ACS Central Science, v. 2, issue 11, p. 825-833,

Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society

This is an open access article published under an ACS AuthorChoice License, which permits copying and redistribution of the article or any adaptations for non-commercial purposes.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge NSF Award DUE-1035451 for supporting this study.

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The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.6b00216.

oc6b00216_si_001.pdf (169 kB)
Supporting Information