September 13, 2007

The Market For Teachers

This article, found in Education Week, seems dismayed at the idea that so many school districts around the country don't have strict standards for their substitute teachers...

But the bar that Congress and most states and school systems have set for such educators is much lower than for regular classroom teachers.

The majority of states donít require substitutes to have more than a high school diploma. Nor do they require districts to give them any training before they set foot in classrooms.

In Prince Georgeís County, Md., administrators had to rope in 140 subs for the opening day of classes after the 134,000-student district, located just outside Washington, failed to fill more than 10 percent of vacancies.

We're constantly hearing about the shortage of qualified teachers in this country. (Which really is a shortage of qualified teachers willing to work all day with children for the money that's being offerred.)

Why should it come as a surprise, if we can't get highly qualified people with college degrees and training to be the primary teachers, that we can't find highly qualified people to act as substitutes for less money, no benefits, and no job security?

Still, 90 percent of the substitutes donít receive any formal training before taking charge of a classroom. ďThatís a big area that needs to be addressed and worked on,Ē Mr. Smith said.

If you had enough substitutes with formal training, don't you think you might not have such a shortage of teachers?

Substitutes are just that: substitutes for the real thing. They are almost always going to be inferior in quality (of course there will be exceptions) to the thing for which they are substitutes. And if we can't get highly qualified teachers at the salaries we're paying, why should we be dismayed that we can't get highly qualified substitutes for even less money?

Posted by at September 13, 2007 12:58 PM | TrackBack

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