Report: Teachers in training in UW System drops
MADISON — The number of junior and senior undergraduates enrolled in teacher-training programs in the University of Wisconsin System has dropped, according to system data reported to the federal Education Department and provided to the State Journal.
There was a 2.8 percent decrease between 2010 and 2012 at University of Wisconsin System campuses, according to the State Journal. That comes after a 6.8 percent increase between 2008 and 2010.
The numbers do not include students seeking teaching licenses with majors not classified by the UW System as education majors.
It's unclear why the number has dropped. But Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell, associate dean of the UW-Madison School of Education, says some graduates are reporting feeling ill-prepared for what they call the political atmosphere surrounding teaching.
"Until our most recent surveys, we've never had a complaint that 'you didn't prepare us for the political atmosphere'" of teaching, said Hanley-Maxwell about surveys the school sends to graduates who have been teaching for about three years.
The Republican-controlled Legislature in 2011 passed Gov. Scott Walker's proposal, Act 10, which stripped most public workers across all levels of government of their collective bargaining rights.
Hanley-Maxwell also said the number of survey respondents planning to teach as long as they are able or until retirement has dropped from 85 percent in 2009 to 39 percent last year. She said she doesn't know why just yet.
"There's something going on out there — whether it's Act 10 or negative commentary (about teachers)," she said. "I don't know what it is, but there's definitely something going on out there."