Teacher Shortage?

Maybe it’s time to make some changes in the way that we recruit and pay teachers.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports on a Kansas resident who was elected the president of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification.

Among the group’s concerns: finding suitable teachers. Some districts report shortages, and Martha Gage, the new leader of the group, says that one third of the state’s teachers leave in five years.

The problem of teacher recruitment and retention raises the question: are teachers paid too little?

That is an easy question to ask, but the answer is more difficult to come by. Some teachers are paid too little. Others are paid too much. But it’s hard to tell right now, since both bad teachers and good teachers get paid the same way–on years of service and number of college credits. Another problem is that the use of extra pay for hard-to-recruit subjects, such as physics, is limited.

Simply put, schools are disregarding common business practices regarding employee pay. Is it any wonder that they have labor problems?

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