The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Teacher shortage looming across America?

From the Des Moines Register:
Fewer people are choosing teaching as a profession in Iowa. A trend that educators say stems from low pay, increases in college tuition, negative publicity about schools and pressures brought on by the federal No Child Left Behind law, which demands steady school improvement. New teacher licenses decreased 23 percent from 5,831 to 4,508 between fiscal 2000 and 2005, according to the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. The state is bracing for an even greater drop this fiscal year, with only 2,166 initial licenses granted so far.

I have seen first hand Kosciusko county teachers doing more for kids under more difficult circumstances than ever before in our profession. My hats off to them.

Teaching is one of the most honorable and yet difficult professions there is. I hope our young people do not give up on entering the profession as appears to be the trend in this news article.

Our students need dedicated and caring professionals now as much as they ever did.


Anonymous said...

They have been proclaiming the scarcity of teachers for about a decade now. With the lateral entry program that allows other professionals to teach, I hardly think that the shortage will be as dire as they predict. I also think that if it does reach that point they will find ways to bring in more people.

The question is not whether there will be enough, but how much do our students have to suffer from lack of trained, passionate educators because of the regulations the government puts on teachers.

Not bloody likely! said...

I call shenanigans.

There are two skilled, licensed teachers in our family. Newly minted graduates with extensive classroom experience and great grades, but no jobs.

The teacher hiring process is more political than getting a job with the city of Chicago.

How about publishing a meaningful, real statistic, like the percentage of hires to applicants interviewed?

(Speaking of regulations, there's a one I face in my business.)

Teacher shortage? No. Shortage of qualified teachers? Yup, but only because so many that may not be as well qualified are still employed.

Dr. Mark J. Stock said...

The teacher shortage predictions across America are largely a function the teacher "baby boomers" entering their late 50's and becoming eligible to take retirement. I don't know about other business demographics but in education, this is very real.

It's been a few years now since we have conducted this study. But the last time we projected this out, 119 of WCSC's 220+ teachers were eligible for retirement by 2008.

However, due to economic conditions and the fact that many teachers continue to enjoy what they do, many have chosen to continue for awhile.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone really surprised?

Teachers are professionals who aren't generally treated as such. For the professional field we are paid little and respected even less.

Sure the kids are great, but it's a struggle. This country should get it's priorities straight and value education so that we will continue to have qualified and talented professionals working in schools. I think young people realize this and are picking higher paying and jobs in which they feel valued and respected as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Many students who graduate from college with an engineering or similar degree start at a salary similar to teachers who are at the top of the pay scale. Go figure.