Proposal of teacher database creates contention, debate
- The national Learning Policy Institute (LPI) issued a response to a report by the California Legal Analyst's Office (LAO), agreeing with some claims and disagreeing with others related to the potential creation of a potentially expensive statewide teacher database.
- The LAO claims the ratio of newly credentialed teachers to the number of vacancies “tends to follow cyclical patterns, with mismatches tending to correct themselves over time;” and the LPI says that shortages, specifically in special ed, are the state's most pressing issue.
- The LPI highlighted the fact that the California Department of Education already lists every single teaching field on a shortage list that is provided to the U.S. Department of Education as standard practice.
The LAO's report asks the California state legislature to create and fund a state database of teachers in order to address teacher shortages, but the proposal is controversial, and has been shot down in the past. In 2010, former Gov. Schwarzenegger scrapped the plan, and current Gov. Jerry Brown has insinuated that he'd do the same, saying that the creation of a database is "not critical."
Still, the issue underlying the problem is indeed critical. Nationwide, the teacher shortage continues to challenge district officials and lawmakers alike. Negative effects have been felt in states like Nevada, Kentucky, and Indiana, while cities like Philadelphia have seen students lacking teachers for up to 50% of their classes. Some schools have turned to tech and blended learning to help stem the tide, while others have refocused hiring efforts to use more data-driven approaches.