A Serious Epidemic

Posted: July 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

I live and teach in Oklahoma. Just two years ago I was teaching in Kansas. Over the past few weeks I have seen many people share on Twitter how there is a teacher shortage in these two states. There have been talks about what we can do to encourage  teachers to move to our state and teach.

So let’s take a look. Here in Oklahoma they are saying that the shortage is due to low pay.

In Oklahoma, with a bachelors degree and no special certifications, you start out at $31,600. Some districts pay higher, like Oklahoma City, where you’ll start out at $33,800. But head down to Austin, Texas and you’re going to—on day one—start at $43,286.  (FOX 25 in OKC)

One school district is attracting teachers by adjusting their school week.

A shortage of funding and teachers is forcing Oklahoma School Districts to get creative. One option: a four-day school week. Currently the State Department of Education has 35 school districts on record as currently using the 4-day schedule. (NEWS9 in OKC)

Go a little to the north and we see Kansas is allowing non-licensed people to be hired to teach.

Kansas just waived the teacher licensing requirements in six school districts making it much easier to get a job instructing impressionable young children on the facts of life. The Kansas State Board of Education voted six-to-four Tuesday to waive the state’s licensing regulations for schools in the Coalition of Innovative Districts including Blue Valley and Kansas City. (Inquisitr)

What I don’t think people understand though is that it’s not just Oklahoma and Kansas with a teacher shortage. Just take a look at the .

Let’s look at Arizona.

Arizona officials say there are at least 1,000 vacant teacher positions to fill, with just weeks left until the school year starts around the state. (The Arizona Republic)

How about in California where they are hiring teachers who are still in school?

Another strong sign of the emerging shortage has come in a recent statewide uptick in the hiring of teachers with provisional, short-term credentials – the majority of them “interns” from university and district programs. About 2,600 of those credentials were issued throughout California in the 2013-14 school year – an increase of 17.6 percent over the previous year, according to an April report by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. (Edsource)

Then today my friend, Eric Johnson, shared with me about the shortage in Indiana and some of the many reasons why it is happening.

At Ball State University, the number of students in elementary and kindergarten teacher-prep programs has fallen 45 percent in the past decade. Other schools report similar declines.

And the number of candidates receiving first-time teaching licenses in Indiana dwindled by almost 20 percent from the 2009/10 to the 2013/14 school year, the most recent numbers available.

Area superintendents and others responsible for hiring teachers attribute the decline to an improved economy that’s sending fewer career-changers to teacher training programs, but also to standardized testing that’s become higher and higher in stakes, and a culture of teacher blaming that’s developed in the state. (South Bend Tribune)

Many may try placing blame on our government here in the United States, but we’re not the only country having issues.

Nearly one in 100 full-time teaching posts in England were either vacant or filled temporarily in 2014, Department for Education figures show.

There were 1,030 vacancies last November, up a third on 2013, the highest number since 2010, when the DfE started compiling figures in November. (BBC News)

Throughout all of the articles that I shared, you can read about different reasons for the shortage. You also read about some of the solutions that states and districts are trying.

I don’t think there is one reason nor solution. There are so many reasons why this teacher shortage is happening.

What are your thoughts? Where do we go from here? Stop thinking about your own school, district, state, country and thinking that you are alone. It’s time to stand up and start making a difference!

  1. […] teacher from the beginning of the year to the end.  Okeducationtruths just gives us the numbers.  Random Teacher Thoughts gives us a world view.  And Excellence in Mediocrity brings it home with the importance of […]

  2. […] I guess everyone who talks edtech on social media/writes about it was at the beach this weekend? I got nothing… edSurge’s edtech “tools for the week“… the 11th annual American Association of University Women is taking place in my backyard (UCSB)… designing presentations the right way… why worry about the achievement gap??… does teaching social skills improve grades and lives??… game based learning and gamification… are there models that we hold on too tightly to in education?… 6 ways to teach growth mindset… there’s a teacher shortage going on, ya’ll. […]

  3. […] as it has been said by: This Teacher Sings, Fourth Generation Teacher, Okeducationtruths, Random Teacher Thoughts, and Excellence in Mediocrity. So I want to look at the issue from a different […]

  4. […] challenges faced by schools to find highly qualified teachers for every classroom. Anthony Purcell (Random Teacher Thoughts)  compared our state’s challenges to other states also struggling with finding quality […]

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