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Opposite Views Of The Same Vista

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. :-)

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1 Comment

  1. Having been in the job market in each of the last three summers, I can affirm that math teachers are more in demand. However, the more desirable jobs (suburban, exurban) have no shortage of candidates; superintendents don’t get quite as many applications for them, but they routinely pull in enough to make the odds long for..well, for me.
    The real shortages are in urban combat zones and very rural areas. There, districts often import foreign-born teachers, try businessmen in search of a career change, or hire inexperienced kids out of college (known as “throwin’ ’em to the wolves”). It’s sad, since these are the positions where the kids need the most talented teachers…

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