State Efforts to Solve Teacher Shortages by Strengthening the Profession

Most states have been struggling to address teacher shortages for several years now, often filling the vacuum with underprepared teachers who aren’t able to give children the high-quality learning they need and who leave at two to three times the rate of well-prepared teachers. Most often, these teachers are hired in schools serving students of color and those from low-income families. Governors and legislators in many states are now working to turn the tide, according to a new report from the Learning Policy Institute.

Taking the Long View: State Efforts to Solve Teacher Shortages by Strengthening the Profession focuses on six evidence-based policies that states are pursuing to address their teacher shortages by strengthening, rather than weakening, their educator workforce. It also takes a close look at the state of Washington, where state policymakers have taken a comprehensive approach to addressing teacher shortages and improving the educator workforce by implementing many of the evidence-based policies described in the report.

Featured policy strategies include the following:

  • Service scholarships and student loan forgiveness
  • High-retention pathways into teaching
  • Mentoring and induction for new teachers
  • High-quality school principals
  • Competitive compensation
  • Recruitment strategies to expand the pool of qualified educators

These policies were selected based on research on teacher preparation, recruitment, and retention strategies that have been found to support greater teacher effectiveness and retention. The strategies can help states build long-term sustainable systems to attract, develop, and retain a strong and stable teacher workforce.

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