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Teacher Shortage

             Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Calling all teachers. Help we need you! Hence is the cry of school districts all over the country. For the last two decades, a teacher shortage has loomed on the horizon. United States Secretary of Education, Richard Riley, speaking at a recent forum in Chicago called on the educational community to adhere to the three R's as it pertained to teachers for the new century "recruitment, retention and respect- (Branch, 13). The teacher shortage is now in crisis proportions and there are few options to consider. This has left schools understaffed or staffed with uncertified personnel. A troubling dilemma and concern for schools and parents alike. Communities can no longer afford to undervalue the contribution of teachers. Indeed many individuals enter the teaching profession for altruistic reasons but to expect them to accept low salaries is a mindset that must change. In this paper we will discuss factors that have led to the crisis and consider current and future implications for the business of education. .
             Facts From the Frontline.
             The problems of teacher shortage and future projections are staggering. In the article, "TEACHERS Supply & Demand-, in Curriculum Administrator, author Gary Stager presents a list of facts that reflect the enormity of the issue.
             1. Baby boomers have created 85 million children, the largest generation in American history. Schools face the largest school-age population ever.
             2. 2010 project it projected that more than 2 million teachers will have to be replaced nationwide.
             3. Currently, 20-25 percent of teachers are not certified in the fields in which they are teaching.
             4. Many states have lowered class sizes while raising high school graduation requirements and other standards. These initiatives increase the numbers of educators required and make the profession more demanding.
             5. Large urban school districts, like Los Angeles, find that 20 percent of their teachers are working with emergency teaching credentials.

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