Arizona State University is launching a major program to increase the number of teachers they train in order to combat the teacher shortage. At the same time some group called The American Association for Employment in Education says there is no shortage. So, who’s right?
The major unknown factor in both evaluations is the requirement of the No Child Left Behind legislation that every student must have a "highly qualified" teacher in core subjects (English, Math, Science and Social Studies) by the 2005-06 school year. Come that fall, some teachers will not be allowed to teach the classes they now have. When you factor in the large numbers of teachers approaching retirement and, as the economy improves, the decline in the numbers of people moving to teaching from other fields, the picture could far different in a few years.
No matter who’s view of teacher availability proves to be valid, I’ll bet we’ll always have a shortage of teachers in math, science, and special ed. It seems like it’s always been that way. Somehow I find it comforting that us math teachers are popular somewhere. :-)