Teacher Quality; Teacher Quantity
This morning’s installment in Oklahoman editorial adventures focuses on teacher quality. What critics of teacher prep programs fail to understand is that the number of people going into the profession is a larger problem. Compounding this is the fact that so many people leave the state or the profession altogether shortly after college.
Teacher quality/quantity also varies from district to district. Some of the larger, centrally-located districts have multiple high-quality applicants for every position. Other districts sometimes have to hire the one applicant they get and hope for the best.
Teaching assignment is another issue. Elementary-certified teachers tend to be available in droves. Math, science, and special education teachers aren’t. This causes not only shortages in key areas, but constant juggling of existing staff within schools.
Finally, we must consider the scope of public education in America. We teach every single student who shows up. The countries mentioned as comparisons don’t. What they do is fund all the things they expect their schools to do.