wasting bandwidth since 1999

Where Have All The Teachers Gone?

Our school system is going through it’s annual dance to hire enough new teachers for the fall (we’ll need around 1600 at last report) and I expect many other districts are doing the same thing. We’ve heard reports about teacher shortages for almost as long as I’ve been in the business (starting somewhere before Gordon Gecko :-) but there are a couple of factors that will only make it worse in the near term.

First, No Child Left Behind requires that every teacher be certified in their subject area (no argument). Schools in New York State were supposed to reach that goal next fall but New York City won’t make it and wants an extension (free NY Times registration). In some areas, more teachers are needed because of requirements to lower class sizes. Either way, it means both finding more teachers, and persuading the good ones to stay, especially in the traditional shortage fields of math, science, and special ed.

Of course, it could be worse. The shortage could be caused by teachers being murdered as they are in Columbia.

1 Comment

  1. Arthur

    If there is a shortage of teachers, and if No Child Left Behind is preventing the hiring of pre-certified teachers, then it’s a disaster.

    I am running up against that “must be certified” barrier in California. I’ve been subbing for 18 months to rave reviews from students and teachers, yet I have not entered a credential program because looming budget cuts have made the job market for teachers look like a train wreck.

    There is a program called CalTeach that trains teachers who have already been hired, but No Child Left Behind has rendered it useless since uncredentialed teachers can’t be hired anymore, even if the principal and staff agree that a candidate is qualified to lead a class. It’s frustrating . I am considering walking away from teaching because it.

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