Holley Hamilton, a first-grade teacher in Charlotte, N.C., was considering going back to school for a master’s degree in education last year. Noticing that younger teachers were coming into classrooms armed with new ideas, she figured teacher-preparation programs had advanced significantly in the two decades since she graduated with a bachelor’s in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“I probably need to reboot and catch up,” she thought.
But then the state government eliminated the automatic 10-percent pay raise given to teachers with master’s degrees. So Ms. Hamilton put her plans on hold.
“I just decided not to, because it’s silly if you’re not going be rewarded financially,” she said.
She’s not the only teacher forgoing a master’s degree. Enrollment is down in education schools across the country. North Carolina has seen a sharp decline, as the political climate has put unique pressure on the state’s education programs. That has led some institutions in the state to get creative, by starting new degree offerings to attract students whose interests lie outside the traditional teaching track.
We dug into the numbers to look at what is going on in education programs and how colleges are responding. <Read more.>