Friday, November 16, 2018

The Teacher Shortage in the United States: Executive Summary

{My college experience so far has helped me understand some of the struggles the education system is dealing with and has been dealing with for decades. I'm nearly done with Educational Consulting degree and have been wondering what I can personally provide to educators and parents and students. I've separated my business report on the teacher shortage in the United States into several parts, to make the paper easier to read. I'm keeping out the title page, table of contents, and memorandum. The reference page will be provided on the last section of this report. If you wish to have the full copy of my report, leave a comment below.} 


Purpose of the Report

The purpose of this report is to address the current teacher shortage in the United States and to provide constructive solutions to the issues with collective bargaining, state standardized tests, and teacher compensation.

The Current Situation of the Teacher Shortage in the United States: A Call for Modification of Restrictions and Regulations

Collective bargaining rights started to become a problem in Wisconsin in 2011 after Governor Scott Walker revealed his budget plan in the form of Act 10. Act 10 had many adverse effects on teachers, including the strict rules of school district handbooks, job stability, and rights. School district handbooks have switched and have put teachers at risk. The specific wording in the handbooks cannot be questioned and teachers receive little to no sympathy from the administration (Swalwell et. al., 2017). Act 10 has also led to teachers questioning their jobs and the industry. With increasing workloads and decreasing job stability, teachers are leaving the industry. Milwaukee was one of the hardest hit when Act 10 went through in 2011. The Milwaukee school district had to deal with reduced state aid and loss of federal stimulus aid (D’Andrea, 2013).

State standardized tests have been increasing. Students now have around six weeks of testing each year (Suh, 2015). The effects of No Child Left Behind and the Race to the Top initiative have left teachers with increased stress and a struggle to keep students test scores high enough. Student test scores directly affect teachers. Teachers are tied to student success and are held responsible if students fail the state standardized tests (Rose, 2015). The academic pressure teachers deal with have led to some teachers leaving the industry. It’s been proven that teachers who are measured by student test scores suffer the most and have the highest attrition rates in the United States (Richwine & Biggs, 2012). Teachers are also at risk of reduced compensation if student test scores are below average (Suh, 2015).  

Teacher compensation has been an issue in the past and today. The 1990s saw a similar teacher shortage. Teacher compensation was low and attrition rates were high (Gonzalez, Brown, & Slate, 2008). A concern of teachers is that many of them work outside of the school, on holidays, and weekends and aren’t getting paid for their time. Also, teachers are being forced to do extra activities while in the school that isn’t paid. Many teachers buy classroom materials out-of-pocket for their students every year. This expense isn’t reimbursed (Richwine & Biggs, 2012). Teachers believe that their salaries are too low for the hours they work (Gonzalez, Brown, & Slate, 2008).


The recommendations of this report include providing teachers with financial support, taking advantage of programs that assist teachers and keeping the programs running, creating opportunities for teachers who’ve been in the industry for extended periods of time, and opening loan forgiveness programs and scholarships. The modifications should be carefully considered by current school administration and state government officials to help solve the current teacher shortage in the United States.  

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