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A National Crisis or Localized Problems? Getting Perspective on the Scope and Scale of the Teacher Shortage


This paper analyzes the size and nature of the teacher shortage of the late 1990s and attempts to offer some insight into this reported shortage and its relative impact for public policy and decision-making purposes. "An examination of the data shows that the problem was distributed unevenly: urban schools and those with relatively high populations of minority and low-income students bore the brunt of the shortage; southern and western states had more problems filling teaching slots than other regions did. These findings suggest that state and local officials should keep distributional concerns in mind when they design policies to improve teacher recruitment and retention." Those involved in teacher recruitment efforts may find this paper particularly useful.