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New England Journal of Higher Education, v24 n1 p10-11 Sum 2009

Schools throughout New England face a common problem: a shortage of teachers who are fully qualified to teach science, mathematics, special education, bilingual education, foreign languages and English. Shortages are expected to spread soon to other teaching fields due to a second common problem: New England has the oldest teaching force of any region in the country. To address current and future teacher shortages, many New England states have established alternative, and typically faster, routes into the profession. Maine has developed Regional Teacher Development Centers that provide, among other services, support and guidance to individuals seeking to become licensed via nontraditional means. Massachusetts implemented its "Bonus Teacher" program, which provided $20,000 bonuses to high-achieving individuals who taught after an intensive six-week summer training program. In fall 2009, Rhode Island will launch a similar fast-track initiative, the Rhode Island Teaching Fellows (RITF). Managed by the New Teacher Project, the same organization that managed the Massachusetts Bonus Teacher initiative, the RITF will also put individuals in charge of classrooms following a six-week summer program. There are two problems, however, with relying on fast-track programs to respond to teacher shortages. First, because teachers leave their profession faster than most other professionals, especially early in their careers, teacher shortages are caused more by high rates of attrition than by low rates of supply. The other problem with fast-track teacher preparation programs is that they aggravate the already excessively high rates of teacher attrition. In this article, the author discusses what policymakers should do to address the regional teacher shortage.

Descriptors: Summer Programs, Bilingual Education, Teacher Persistence, Teacher Shortage, Faculty Mobility, Second Languages, Alternative Teacher Certification, Teacher Supply and Demand, Science Teachers, Mathematics Teachers, Special Education Teachers, Teacher Salaries, Teaching (Occupation), Public Officials, Teacher Education

New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail: connection[at]nebhe.org; Web site: http://www.nebhe.org/





Author: Fowler, R. Clarke

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=3523&id=EJ851040



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