Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Teacher Shortage or Glut?

It is often said that we are suffering a teacher shortage and that terrible pay and working conditions are only worsening it. However, due to several years of mass layoffs, combined with increasing class sizes, most districts have plenty of teachers to fill current needs.

The problem is no longer a shortage of teachers, but a shortage of teaching services. There are sufficient teachers to cover the desired number of classes, but there are far fewer course offerings and desired classes offered to students. They have far more classmates in the remaining classes, which results in less one on one attention from their teachers. Because of the increased workloads, teachers are resorting more and more to multiple choice exams, instead of open ended tests that requiring more reading and team; less inquiry-based labs and more pen and paper or computer simulations.

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