In the News: Teacher Shortages

In the News: LPI Research on Teacher Shortages

The United States has experienced persistent and deepening teacher shortages for decades. Kickstarted by the 2008 Great Recession, the steady decline in fully prepared teachers has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the need to address teacher shortages becomes more urgent in the wake of the pandemic, news outlets continue to turn to LPI for insights on policy and program solutions. Below are some key LPI resources and recent news articles featuring LPI researchers that shed light on the teacher shortage crisis.

Students With Disabilities Have a Right to Qualified Teachers — But There's a Shortage

April 20, 2022—Teacher shortages are impacting students with disabilities as schools struggle to overcome the special educator shortage. In this interview with NPR’s All Things Considered, Desiree Carver-Thomas offers solutions for reducing teacher turnover, including improved pay, recruitment, preparation, and working conditions.

Solutions for America's Teacher Shortage

April 05, 2022—In a radio interview with WBUR’s On Point, Linda Darling-Hammond explores the teacher shortage crisis at length and offers program and policy solutions for what can be done to recruit and retain more educators as outlined in an LPI blog.

How to Reverse the Teacher Crisis Exacerbated by the Pandemic: Experts

April 3, 2022—The teacher shortage crisis, exacerbated by the pandemic, has been driven primarily by low pay and poor working conditions. Desiree Carver-Thomas shares perspective with ABC News about declining teacher compensation over the years and also highlights California investments that are strengthening the teacher pipeline.

A Major Shortage of Substitute Teachers Has Some Districts Training New Subs in 1 Day

March 15, 2022—"It begs the question of how much learning can really happen when the person in the classroom may not have subject matter competency." Desiree Carver-Thomas joins NPR’s All Things Considered to discuss the impact that substitute teacher shortages has had on schools and students.

How to Convince People to Become Teachers

March 9, 2022—This FastCompany interview with Desiree Carver-Thomas explores key problems and possible solutions to the teacher shortage crisis. Potential solutions include subsidizing teacher preparation to address high debt and low pay, implementing "grow your own" programs, and offering more flexible ways to teach to reduce student and teacher stress. 

Arizona Has Had a Teacher Shortage for Years. But Some Policies Have Been Successfully Curbing It

March 8, 2022—Thirty-one percent of teacher vacancies in Arizona are unfilled, while nearly half of teaching positions have been filled by underprepared teachers. Desiree Carver-Thomas joins the KJZZ 91.5 radio show to discuss what has and hasn’t worked for teacher recruitment and retention.

New Threat to COVID-Era Education: Black and Latino Teachers are Leaving the Profession

Feb 10, 2022—Citing research from several LPI reports, this Los Angeles Times article explores the increase in Black and Latino teachers who are leaving the teaching profession and the effect this is having on students, especially students of color. Tara Kini discusses how schools are hiring underprepared replacements, which negatively impacts students’ learning experiences.

How School Districts and States Are Trying to Attract Teachers During the Pandemic

February 4, 2022—"Teacher surveys have shown that during this time stress has been a major factor driving teachers leaving the profession." This ABC News article featuring perspective from Desiree Carver-Thomas explores conditions created by the pandemic that have caused significant teacher shortages as highlighted in this California-focused LPI report.

Half of Teachers Say They’re Thinking About Quitting, But Will They?

February 3, 2022—In an interview with U.S. News & World Report, Linda Darling-Hammond discusses how teacher shortages that predated the pandemic, particularly in math, science, and special education, are now being exacerbated by not only the pandemic but a shrinking pipeline into the profession and increased student loan debt.
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The Learning Policy Institute conducts and communicates independent, high-quality research to improve education policy and practice. Working with policymakers, researchers, educators, community groups, and others, the Institute seeks to advance evidence-based policies that support empowering and equitable learning for each and every child. Nonprofit and nonpartisan, the Institute connects policymakers and stakeholders at the local, state, and federal levels with the evidence, ideas, and actions needed to strengthen the education system from preschool through college and career readiness.

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