NEW from ECS: Exploring the Teacher Shortage Dilemma

Posted by Angie / on 05/05/2016 / 0 Comments

Categories: Recruitment


Exploring the Teacher Shortage Dilemma

The critical issue of teacher shortages is often featured in today's news headlines. Whether a shortage exists varies from state to state as do the root causes and the approaches states are taking to address the issue.

To support policymakers, Education Commission of the States conducted extensive research on the topic and created a comprehensive resource to guide state leaders in policy decisions. This six report series begins with an introductory report, Teacher Shortages: What we know, which examines what the research says about teacher shortages and highlights recent state task force findings. The next five briefs examine strategies states are using to address shortages:

Mitigating Teacher Shortages: Alternative Certification
Mitigating Teacher Shortages: Financial Incentives
Mitigating Teacher Shortages: Induction and Mentorship
Mitigating Teacher Shortages: Evaluation and Feedback
Mitigating Teacher Shortages: Teacher Leadership

Each of these reports provides a definition of the strategy, a summary of supporting research, state policy examples and considerations for policymakers.

"With so many state education leaders talking about teacher shortages, we knew it was important to provide an in-depth look at the research and strategies that can guide effective policy decisions," said Jeremy Anderson, President of Education Commission of the States. "We found that while states are using different approaches to address this issue, it is as important to consider methods to both retain good teachers and recruit new teachers."

Some items of note:
• A thorough review of long-term trends indicates that the nation as a whole is unlikely experiencing a shortage crisis.
• Since 2015, seven states reported findings from teacher shortage task forces and other working groups. Four of them explicitly identified a shortage in hard-to-staff subjects or schools.
• The strategies states typically look to in order combat a teacher shortage tend to focus more on teacher recruitment than they do on teacher retention.

For more highlights from this resource, make sure to check out this infographic.

For questions, contact Education Commission of the States Communications Director Amy Skinner at or (303) 299.3609.



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