Thursday, September 15, 2016

Frustration. Burnout. Attrition. It's Time To Address The National Teacher Shortage : NPR Ed

Frustration. Burnout. Attrition. It's Time To Address The National Teacher Shortage : NPR Ed : NPR:

Frustration. Burnout. Attrition. It's Time To Address The National Teacher Shortage

Teachers Wanted


The good news: There's an uptick in the hiring of new teachers since the pink-slip frenzy in the wake of the Great Recession.
The bad news: The new hiring hasn't made up for the teacher shortfall. Attrition is high and enrollment in teacher preparation programs has fallen some 35 percent over the last five years — a decrease of nearly 240,000 teachers in all. 
Parts of most every state in America face troubling teacher shortages: the most frequent shortage areas are math, science, bilingual education and special education.
We've covered many sides of the shortage issue including the disconnect between training and districts' needs; how the accountability obsession and paperwork aredriving some good veteran teachers away; what factors help teachers stick around; as well as efforts to improve training for special-ed teachers to stem that field's attrition and chronic shortage.
Linda Darling-Hammond, President and CEO of Learning Policy Institute and founder of Stanford University's Center for Opportunity Policy in Education.
Courtesy of Linda Darling-Hammond
Two comprehensive new reports on the issue, from the nonprofit and nonpartisan Learning Policy Institute offer an opportunity to revisit and dig deeper into a widening problem. You can read the full reports - A Coming Crisis in Teaching? Teacher Supply, Demand, and Shortages in the U.S and Minority Teacher Recruitment, Employment, and Retention: 1987 to 2013 here. Also check out the institute's interactive map.
I spoke with the institute's president, Linda Darling-Hammond, Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University and co-author of one of the reports.
Whether this is a full blown 'crisis' or just one of many problems in education depends, I guess, on where you sit. The report you co-authored is titled A Coming Crisis in Teaching? Do you think the question mark is really needed?
If you're sitting in Utah or Arizona, there's no question mark. You have a crisis in teaching. If you're in better-paying Massachusetts, where there's something of a surplus in some fields, you feel a little less concerned about it. The other aspect of the question mark is about the future. We do certainly have a shortfall of teachers right now and it looks like it will get much worse. But if we change our policies, we could solve the shortage. The question mark is really a question to us about the policies we'll put in place to address these emerging problems.
High-poverty schools have some of the biggest teacher attrition and shortage challenges. Your report notes that about half of all schools and 90 percent of high-poverty schools are struggling to find enough qualified special education teachers. These shortages are having the biggest impact on the most vulnerable students, aren't they?
They are. In some places we see from the data that one in five teachers in high-minority schools and high-poverty schools is unprepared for teaching. When you think Frustration. Burnout. Attrition. It's Time To Address The National Teacher Shortage : NPR Ed : NPR


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