KCUR finds Shawnee Mission leads metro districts in teacher experience based on 2012 data

Photo via SMSD Facebook page.
Photo via SMSD Facebook page.

Shawnee Mission School District teachers had more experience on average than any of the 31 major public districts in the Kansas City metro area, based on the most recent federal data available.

That’s the finding of a recent research project by KCUR, which looked at how much time in the classroom the more than 20,000 teachers in local public school have under their belts. The research project was based on data from the national Schools and Staffing Survey from 2012. However, Shawnee Mission recently completed a teacher buyout that led to dozens of early retirements, a move that would likely impact the district’s relatively rankings.

In the 2012 data, Shawnee Mission teachers have an average of 16 years experience, tied with the Kearny School District in Clay County, Mo. for the lead in the metro. Blue Valley and Lee’s Summit were second with an average of 15 years experience for their teachers. The average among the 31 metro districts was 13 years.

Shawnee Mission also fared well in measures of the percentage of teachers with Master’s degrees and the percentage of teachers with just 0-5 years experience.

Shawnee Mission was fifth in the region in terms of percentage of teachers with Master’s degrees at 78 percent. Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit, Kearney and Park Hill all had more than 80 percent.

Just 18 percent of Shawnee Mission teachers had five years or fewer classroom experience. Only Kearney and Lee’s Summit had fewer inexperienced teachers.

You can find the full findings from KCUR’s research here.