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Missing Elements in the Discussion of Teacher Shortages

Abstract

"Though policymakers are increasingly concerned about teacher shortages in U.S. public schools, the national discussion does not reflect historical patterns of the supply of and demand for newly- minted teachers. Specifically, the production of teacher candidates has increased steadily since the mid- 1980s, and only about half of graduating teacher candidates are hired as public school teachers in a typical year. That said, there is considerable evidence of teacher shortages in specific subjects (e.g., STEM and special education) and in specific types of schools (e.g., disadvantaged). We therefore discuss public policies that contribute to these specific shortages and potential solutions."

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