There is a great article out today in Real Clear Education on how the STEM teacher shortage is hurting America’s prosperity. The authors are from Arizona where we just started working to help solve the the teacher shortage there through Arizona Teachers and we have seen first hand the need for more qualified STEM teachers.
I was an engineer and there are some basic things you need to do in middle and high school to get into a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) career. You have to take advanced math and you have to take advanced science like physics.
And we just don’t have the teachers in K-12 for these subjects. From the article – “For example, just 20 percent of eighth grade students have a teacher who majored in math (the national average, 31 percent, is only slightly less dismal). In fact, 40 percent of administrators surveyed by the Morrison Institute, at Arizona State University, say that they have the most difficulty filling math teaching positions.”
As the article points out most of the data is around vacancies – but so many schools five up trying to find STEM teachers and simply don’t offer the course. An EdWeek report stated that 40% of high schools in America don’t even offer Physics.
I was hoping the RealClear article would offer real solutions -like alternative teacher certification – which actually finds physics teachers – but they really just say we need to work together to solve the problem and provide incentives to get more people into TEachging. We put a prime focus on recruiting STEM teachers for our school district partners. Our Texas Teacher recruitment works very well.
Well – we are doing that. And we are working hard to get more STEM teachers in schools.