Lots of Bad ideas for Solving the Teacher Shortage, but Not Enough for Improving the Profession

Immediately after winning a prestigious fellowship and becoming North Dakota’s first Albert Einstein distinguished educator fellow, physics teacher Michelle Strand had little time to celebrate. She resigned from the job she loved.

Strand was denied the yearlong leave of absence she requested to help guide federal STEM education efforts. In refusing to guarantee that Strand could return to the school district afterward, her superintendent in West Fargo cited, somewhat ironically, the teacher shortage.

Long before the pandemic coincided with historically low unemployment in other fields, a dwindling pipeline of new teachers and the early exit of experienced ones raised alarms. A recent Gallup poll found that K-12 workers are more burned out than those in any other field, while a Rand survey said that teachers and principals are twice as stressed as the average American worker.

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(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)