Serious shortages in math, science and special education teachers have been reported in more than 40 states, and more than 30 states are seeing serious shortages for ELL teachers. The biggest shortages are in schools that serve low-income and minority students.
Public support for the Common Core standards is plummeting—but that doesn’t mean much to K12. Half of the general population approves of the standards—that’s down from 83 percent just three years ago. Support among teachers has fallen to only 44 percent, according to the latest Education Next survey
Research suggests a diverse teaching force can improve students’ learning experiences. That’s the goal of a three-year, $16 million program called NYC Men Teach, designed to add 1,000 black, Latino and Asian men to the city’s teaching rosters by 2018.
Teaching is losing its magic. Every year, the profession loses some of our most effective colleagues prematurely. Moreover, we fail to attract enough college graduates who have the talent and passion for teaching.
Many teachers find themselves isolated in classrooms without the right training or support. Others receive only one or two afternoons of PD per year. The need for more effective professional development for teachers is especially important right now, with new academic standards being introduced across the country.
Few teachers receive individualized professional development, though many are expected to personalize learning for students. Microcredentials—digital badges that teachers earn by learning a skill and demonstrating mastery through student results—offer a PD pathway designed to be highly differentiated and engaging.