There Are No Quick Fixes for Teacher Shortage, Report Warns

April 27, 2017

By Brenda Iasevoli

If you think raising teacher salaries is the way to attract talented young people into the profession, well, that sort of easy-fix, across-the-board solution to the teacher shortage problem will just not do, according to a new report.

Such solutions, say the authors, don't take into account that shortages do not exist everywhere and in every field. There are, rather, isolated shortages in certain subject areas (like science, math, and special education) and in certain locales (like rural or high-needs schools), and these demand targeted solutions. You can read up on an earlier report examining the origins of the current teacher shortage and the issues exacerbating it here.

The new report, "Understanding and Addressing Teacher Shortages in the United States," homes in on strategies the authors say will increase the flow of teachers into areas where they're in shortest supply.

"We really emphasize that the news articles on shortages tend not to be all that nuanced and the issue of shortage is a lot more nuanced than the public policy discussion," Dan Goldhaber told Education Week. He is director of the Center for Education Data and Research at the University of Washington and a coauthor of the report along with Thomas S. Dee, the associate dean for faculty affairs at Stanford University.