The exact cause of teacher shortages is still up for debate. Some experts argue that shortages are localized, while others say that the lack of teachers is due to low unemployment and other factors. Regardless, school systems face big challenges with their teacher workforce, including finding enough teacher candidates and retaining the teachers they have, as well as filling specialized positions. Many fear that the role of the teacher is no longer seen by young people entering the workforce as a sustainable career option.
These big challenges require school systems to make big changes to the role of the teacher. This brief identifies eight categories of strategies that school systems are using to reimagine their teacher workforce, then assesses the extent to which large and urban districts have adopted these strategies.
Overall, we find that while many large and urban school systems have adopted some strategies to address teacher workforce challenges, very few have taken the steps to transform teaching into a more desirable and sustainable profession. We’re seeing more of the same old, same old—and it doesn’t appear as though the status quo is a viable long-term solution.