The Trouble With Teachers

DC Public Schools is feeling the crunch this morning, having had to rehire all the uncertified teachers they let go over the summer, and add a hundred more, to fill all the vacancies within the District’s school system. Therein lies a siginificant difficult: if you can’t find enough certified teachers, what do you do? You can’t just increase class size, or you’ll drive out the teachers you have already. You can’t leave uncertified teachers in place because it tends to be against the law and bad for public opinion of the schools. You can’t remove the certification clauses because the teachers’ unions and parent associations freak out.

There’s really no good solution to the teacher crisis, so what can be done to help DC’s schools? Neither Linda Cropp’s education plan, nor Adrian Fenty’s White Paper on Education mention anything about the teacher shortage in the District, just a generalized plan to move forward with better schools despite the lack of certified teachers.

How do we handle this? Is it even a problem?

6 Comments so far

  1. Slambam (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2006 @ 10:57 am

    Do what every other state does that lacks certified teachers: offer them perks! Florida even has a HUD program for teachers, giving them a 3-year lease at a huge discount on a HUD Home in order to keep them in the school system. Other states help teachers get certified while they are teaching, in order to retain numbers in the system.

  2. Mo (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2006 @ 11:43 am

    Privatize it.

  3. Mo (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2006 @ 11:46 am
  4. wayan (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2006 @ 11:59 am

    Another WashPost article recently described how something like 17,000 studnets are now in Charter Schools. If they have certified teachers, it might be good for the DC School System to check out how they are attracting the teachers.

    My guess: Decent class sizes, students who want to learn, adequate school supplies/facilities, and engaged parents – exactly what the DC School System lacks.

  5. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2006 @ 12:05 pm

    Indeed, yesterday’s Post had two articles on Charter Schools:

    Study Finds Charter Schools Lag


    Traditional or Charter schools?

  6. Mo (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2006 @ 1:47 pm

    Re: Charter Schools Lag Study
    “the data are obtained from an observational study rather than a randomized experiment, so the estimated effects should not be interpreted in terms of causal relationships.”


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