Why America’s teacher shortage is going to get worse
By Jacob Passy, Marketwatch
New York Post
February 14, 2018
College students hitting the books these days are far less likely to be learning about teaching — and that could be putting future generations’ educational attainment at risk.
Back in 1975, more than one-fifth (22 percent) of college students majored in education — a higher share than any other major. By 2015 though, fewer than one in 10 Americans pursuing higher education devoted their studies to education, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau compiled by career website Zippia.
The shift away from an education major was especially notable among women. Over the past 40 years, the share of female college students majoring in education has shrunk from 32 percent to 11 percent. And as interest in a degree in education dwindled, more students pursued coursework in sciences, fine arts, communications and computer science.
Looking ahead, even fewer college students may pursue education majors. Only 4.6 percent of college freshmen planned to major in education, down from 10 percent in the 1970s, according to a May 2017 study from researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles.
There’s a teacher shortage — but it’s not necessarily because fewer people are qualified
That could be a problem. Public schools nationwide don’t have enough teachers, according to data from the Department of Education. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia lacked math teachers, alone. Similar shortages were reported for special education, science and foreign languages.
Some states have addressed these shortages by seeking to reduce the qualifications needed to become a teacher. But overly stringent requirements haven’t led to this current shortage, researchers say.
For starters, shortages are occurring because of increased demand on public schools. As of fall 2017, 50.7 million students were attending public elementary and secondary schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. By 2025, that number is expected to expand to 51.4 million.
Maintaining current class size ratios would mean hiring thousands more teachers, according to the Learning Policy Institute — and that doesn’t even account for efforts being made across many school districts nationwide to reduce class sizes.
While reduced numbers of qualified teachers will certainly exacerbate that problem, a potentially bigger issue is attrition among teachers. Over the past decade, roughly 8 percent of American teachers left the profession. That’s nearly double the rates seen in countries like Finland and Singapore, where teacher shortages are less acute and students are higher achieving.
“This is pre-retirement turnover, mostly driven by dissatisfaction,” Richard Ingersoll, professor of education and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, told education publication NEA Today.
While low salaries do play a role, Ingersoll said teachers are generally more frustrated with the lack of say they have in schools’ decisions and curriculum. Attrition is particularly bad in urban districts where Ingersoll said teachers are “the most micromanaged in this era of accountability.”
Some states want more people to become teachers — and that’s a good thing
In August, California Gov. Jerry Brown reversed a law that banned education as a major at colleges and universities in the state. Months later, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe took similar action, directing the Virginia Board of Education to put into effect emergency regulations that would allow public colleges and universities to offer an education major.
Those programs could be successful in producing teachers with longer careers in the field. A 2014 report from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education found that educators with training in teaching methods or pedagogy were less likely to quit teaching after a year on the job.
And staying in a classroom longer has its benefits: Research has shown that a teacher’s degree alone isn’t necessarily correlated with improved student performance, but having more teaching experience generally is.
Ya think Teachers now as gun toting human shields, quasi therapists, social worker and paid half the salary of any of them with twice the debt that is lifelong as Teachers are required to have ongoing education and training that they pay for in order to retain their licenses and in turn have supposedly multiple degrees to be considered a "master" Teacher it is laughable. Sorry but all of that is bullshit. The "fifth" year of college is a crammed down theory into practice course work that is utterly out of touch of the basic needs of our current system. Then we have a "internship" and the end of the course that is a crapshoot of placement that again you have to pay for and do so while not getting paid. Yes sign me up!
Twenty years ago when I entered the profession it was pretty bad but it did not cost me the absurd amount of tuition that it does today. I was married, owned my own home and rented it while I went to school. I had income and a roof over my head. And again I did not enter the profession with some misguided sense of doing right for the "poors." I came from the poors and my experience is not theirs, different time, different situations and I don't project my shit onto others which many do and that makes the lines blurred. It is not healthy nor safe to do as such and hence I think that is why we are also having such problems in schools. I have seen many a millennial look for safe space, trigger warnings, misguided parental alliance and other traits we laugh at do so in a classroom of children and then it is not funny. From lessons to behaviors I am not sure who I am more concerned about. And yes that is both Seattle and Nashville. I have never forgotten the SPED Teacher who had been teaching all of three years and who I was in my infamous three hour tour whoops I mean lock down who had the audacity to criticize me and evaluate how I handled myself and the kids during that time. I joked with them, said I was reading Twitter the source of all news and it basically says we are fine. And I joked that I wanted the SWAT dude to carry me out if he was attractive as I needed a date so tell him I fainted. They laughed and reduced a stressful situation into less of one. Irony that the Custodian of same school who I knew well was in the hall when released and yelled out "Looking for a date again!" The kids laughed and exchanged glances as if they were in on a secret. I broke up a very stressful situation. Again if I truly thought we were being shot we were on a ground floor, with desks a window which we would smash out and I would get us out, I am not dying there and then. This was one of many I was in Seattle and one where I called Security to take a hysterical girl out as I was having none of it. I am a tough bitch but then I came here and no more.
I get that I am a bitch and a divisive figure as I don't fit the stereotype of old broad but I am sure that until of late I would have no problem getting into a throw down when it came to protecting children. And again then I came here. Nashville you have real problems in your schools. Period.