As students and teachers across the country head back to school this month, familiar headlines pop up in the news: “Teacher shortages affecting every state as 2017-18 school year begins” in the Washington Post and “Schools throughout the country are grappling with teacher shortage, data show” in CNN, to name a few.
The beginning of a new school year highlights a perennial problem in the U.S. and in North Carolina – teacher shortages. This is not a new problem. The Center’s August 1, 2004 issue of North Carolina Insight, “Addressing the Shortage of Teachers in North Carolina” raised many of the same issues that exist today.
However, most stories on the teacher shortage crisis fail to acknowledge the complexity of the issue. For example, teacher shortage issues look very different in rural districts than they do urban or suburban districts. We need a more nuanced conversation about the teacher pipeline in our state — we need to understand which districts have healthy, adequate, and inadequate teacher supply and why.
Our affiliate organization, EducationNC, released a teacher pipeline series last week that starts the conversation. It addresses teacher shortages by looking at the entire teacher pipeline, from recruiting prospective teachers to colleges of education to training effective teachers to retaining them in classrooms. Check out the series below and join the conversation.
This week we are discussing North Carolina’s teacher pipeline. Why do teachers become teachers? How do we recruit and retain the best educators? How do districts combat shortages? Join the conversation!North Carolina Insight Education Vol. 25 No. 1