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Wanted: New American Teachers47:43Download

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With a new school year right in front of us, many schools across the country are still desperate to fill teaching positions. We’ll look at the teacher shortage.

As students and teachers head back to class this autumn, a growing teacher shortage in many states is creating class size and instruction problems. (Flickr / Tamara)
As students and teachers head back to class this autumn, a growing teacher shortage in many states is creating class size and instruction problems. (Flickr / Tamara)

School time is coming again for millions of American students. For some, it’s already here. In many schools there will be well-known and loved teachers ready to dive in. At others, administrators are still racing, even now, to find bodies to put at the front of the class. Teacher shortage is not a wall-to-wall national phenomenon. But there is a patchwork of teacher shortage hotspots across the country that has schools scrambling. Making late hires. Tinkering with training requirements, standards. This hour On Point:  teacher shortages around the country. Where they are. Why they are.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ross Brenneman, assistant editor at Education Week Teacher. (@itsapun)

Paul Bruno, advisor at Deans for Impact, a national teaching advocacy organization. Former middle school science teacher. (@mrpabruno)

Angela, Minnici, director of the education policy program at the American Institutes for Research. (@minniciangela)

Mari Koerner, dean of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University.

From Tom’s Reading List

Education Week Teacher: Districts Facing Teacher Shortages Look for Lifelines — "Available data from the National Center for Education Statistics paint a complicated picture of the current supply of teachers: Yes, there are fewer teachers compared to previous years, but nationally, the student-teacher ratio has remained relatively consistent. The problem appears to be that available teachers aren't always located where they're needed most."

Brookings Institution: The importance of the teacher supply to education reform — "The extent to which principals today are constrained in their evaluation and dismissal decisions by the quality and size of the teacher labor supply is not obvious and probably varies by grade level, content area, and geographic location. There are, however, reasons to suspect that teacher supply constraints are real and may be getting worse."

NPR News: Where Have All The Teachers Gone? — "This is the canary in the coal mine. Several big states have seen alarming drops in enrollment at teacher training programs. The numbers are grim among some of the nation's largest producers of new teachers: In California, enrollment is down 53 percent over the past five years. It's down sharply in New York and Texas as well."

This program aired on August 11, 2015.

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