Valarie Strauss at The Washington Post writes about the teacher shortages every state is facing this school year, a problem that has become acute in recent years.
Teacher shortages are nothing new — most states have reported some since data started being kept more than 25 years ago — but the problem has grown more acute in recent years as the profession has been hit with low morale over low pay, unfair evaluation methods, assaults on due-process rights, high-stakes testing requirements, insufficient resources and other issues.
According to a 2016 report by the nonprofit Learning Policy Institute, teacher education enrollment dropped from 691,000 to 451,000, a 35 percent reduction, between 2009 and 2014, the latest year for which there is data. And there are high levels of attrition, with nearly 8 percent of the teaching workforce leaving every year, the majority before retirement age.
She lists the five key factors that the Learning Policy Institute cited in their report:
The Learning Policy Institute report found five key factors that influence whether a teacher decides to enter, remain in or leave the profession: salaries and other compensation; preparation and costs to entry; hiring and personnel management; induction and support for new teachers; and working conditions, including school leadership, professional collaboration and shared decision-making, accountability systems, and resources for teaching and learning.
Read her whole article here.
Like Strauss said this has been a problem for years, but it has become worse over the years. I can’t help notice the spike between 2009 through 2014. What was introduced? What changed?
While there isn’t empirical evidence to point to this as the cause I believe Common Core along with the accompanying assessments has been a factor. The Learning Policy Institute cites working conditions – I have heard from numerous teachers they no longer feel like they are in control of their classrooms. Also linking teacher evaluations to assessments impacts morale among teachers.
We’ve seen the 2014 teacher of the year call it quits over Common Core. Elementary school teachers have struggled with Common Core math. Another teacher in Colorado is just another example of teachers who have left the profession over Common Core.
We have no idea how many have decided they do not want to enter the profession because of top-down education reforms. I’m sure it isn’t an insignificant issue.