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ERIC Number: ED596444
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jan
Pages: 87
Abstractor: ERIC
Nuance in the Noise: The Complex Reality of Teacher Shortages
McVey, Kaitlin Pennington; Trinidad, Justin
Bellwether Education Partners
Teacher shortages have real impact on schools, students, and communities. A gap of one teacher in a school means diminished opportunities for students. And, like many challenges in public education, the pain of teacher shortages is not distributed equitably: The communities that suffer the most from teacher shortages are often low-income and under-resourced. To get a clearer picture of trends in teacher subject-area shortages across the country, the authors analyzed national data on teacher shortage areas submitted by states and territories to the U.S. Department of Education. Like many other data sets used to track and better understand teacher shortages, this one has limitations. The analysis details the years for which each state submitted data and relies on a framework the authors created to categorize states' submissions based on trends revealed in the data. Additionally, it identifies where and in which subject areas shortages exist with the most consistency over time; it does not detail where there are the highest number of shortages. Nonetheless, their findings add depth and breadth to existing teacher shortage data analyses and further demonstrate that there is no generic, national teacher shortage. Specifically, the report confirms trends in states' most dire teacher shortage subject areas that other data analysis has shown: States consistently report trouble staffing special education, mathematics, science, foreign language, and English as a second language classrooms. Also similar to other reporting on the topic, career and technical education emerges as a significant teacher shortage area. Yet states' experiences with shortages in these subject areas vary widely. Some states struggle to fill mathematics classrooms, while others have a more serious need in science. Outside of these trends, states' reporting on subject area shortages is extremely variable.
Bellwether Education Partners. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education; Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
Authoring Institution: Bellwether Education Partners
Identifiers - Location: United States