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May 2003 | Volume 60 | Number 8
Keeping Good Teachers
Richard M. Ingersoll and Thomas M. Smith
Loss of new teachers plays a major role in the teacher shortage, but pouring more teachers into the system will not solve the retention problem.
In recent years, researchers and policymakers have told us again and again that severe teacher shortages confront schools. They point to a dramatic increase in the demand for new teachers resulting from two converging demographic trends: increasing student enrollments and increasing numbers of teachers reaching retirement age. Shortfalls of teachers, they say, are forcing many school systems to lower their standards for teacher quality (National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, 1997).
Policymakers have often responded to the problem by trying to increase the supply of teachers. States, districts, and schools have instituted a wide range of initiatives to recruit new teachers: career-change programs designed to entice professionals into midcareer switches to teaching; alternative certification programs to allow college graduates to postpone formal education training and begin teaching immediately; recruitment of teaching candidates from other countries; and such financial incentives as signing bonuses, student loan forgiveness, housing assistance, and tuition reimbursement (Hirsch, Koppich, & Knapp, 2001). These recruitment efforts are often worthwhile, but, unfortunately, they will not solve the teacher staffing problems that schools face.
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Copyright © 2003 by Richard M. Ingersoll,Thomas M. Smith
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