- Two comprehensive reports from the Learning Policy Institute examine the teaching profession, troubling shortages, the challenges of minority teacher recruitment, and retention efforts as a critical strategy in the search for a solution.
- In a Q&A with NPR Ed, Linda Darling-Hammond, president and CEO of the institute, says reducing the relatively high attrition rate in U.S. schools from 8% to 4% would eliminate teacher shortages, and with less than one-third of teachers actually leaving the field for retirement, “the 4% solution” is possible.
- The Hechinger Report writes higher attrition rates among minority teachers undermines years of work recruiting this population, but even more than higher salaries, better working conditions could help more minority teachers stay in the field — meaning they want to have a say in school-wide decisions, more autonomy over their classrooms and more supplies and resources for their students.
In Utah, the teacher shortage is so great that the state legislature passed an emergency measure before the start of this school year freeing administrators to hire teachers with no prior experience or specific training in education. In some districts there is no shortage, but the problem is serious nationally. Fewer college students are majoring in education, shrinking the pipeline of future teachers at a time when everyone would like to see more — especially in special and bilingual education and some math and science fields.
Lower-resourced schools are often the ones that have trouble retaining teachers, especially if teachers do not have to travel far to get better jobs. In Oregon, Chalkboard Project’s CLASS model encourages schools to engage in shared decision-making, better utilizing the expertise of teachers in school improvement efforts. Some schools have found this brings the added benefit of lowering turnover, which is consistent with the findings of the LPI reports.