States take different approaches to closing teacher shortages in early ESSA plans
- As states begin to offer the U.S. Department of Education the Consolidated State Plans on how each state intends to comply with the guidelines of the Every Student Succeeds Act, several ideas and programs to address the country’s teacher shortage have been consistent appearances, according to an American Institutes for Research analysis.
- Connecticut and New Jersey intend to incorporate new marketing pushes into their attempts to attract talent, while 11 of the 17 states that have submitted plans thus far intend to strengthen the data and processes available for teacher recruitment, including online pipelines that make applying for teaching jobs simpler.
- Six of the states are considering ways to entice teachers through higher pay, particularly for subject areas with shortages, like STEM fields, or locations with teacher shortages, like in rural areas.
Many of the methods to combat teacher shortages incorporated in the submitted plans deal with the low rates of teacher recruitment, but fewer directly address teacher retention rates, besides suggestions to boost pay. An NPR report found that approximately 8% of teachers leave the field each year, contributing to the low numbers of educators. A report analyzed this massive gap, saying if the country could reduce that rate to 4%, the teacher shortage could be sufficiently addressed.
National Governors Association Stephen Parker Legislative Director, Education & Workforce Committee said in a recent interview that several consolidated state plans submitted to the U.S. Department of Education are more focused on compliance and offer fewer details about plans for innovation, following recent changes to the reporting requirements. States had been planning for the coming changes for several years, but now the requirement that the federal government approve plans has been eliminated.
- American Institutes for Research Teacher shortages: The Top 10 ideas from the first state ESSA plans