Every week or two the newspapers headlines bring up a note about the teachers shortage in the STEM area. This is due to lack of interest of many professionals to get enrolled or even pursue a degree in education. But this apathy is only for careers different than math, science or special education. There is high demand of certified teachers on these areas. Why having the human resource the Boards of Education can't secure hirings on these disciplines?
First, it all has to be with the certification process. To me, safety clearance from the FBI is a must. But all bureaucratic testing and selection --which by the way increases money accounts of private businesses-- is a waste. Allow professional with academic credentials to get into the education and decide out their practice. Many would like the position (some might need it), and they will stay or quit whatsoever.
Secondly, even when this will make fellow educators and education advocates a bit uncomfortable, we need to differentiate salaries among teachers based on specialization, experience, and continuous professional development. Right now we only differentiate salaries based on the subjective --testing again, teacher effectiveness and high-poverty school community. It falls short of what the faculty really needs.
Hess argues that "the extra pay has to come from somewhere. Perhaps it would require students to pay more tuition or the institution to make cuts elsewhere—perhaps trimming pay for graduate assistants or maintenance staff." My personal experience is that having a mathematics education is not the same, in terms of effort, as other in history for example. The latter is less time consuming. By this I don't mean less professional. I am just saying we need to differentiate a university credit on both subjects.
Finally, I would believe that this only an idea. To change the way education apparatus (I resist to call it system) works in this country we need more than ideas and articles in very visible magazines. Community has to reclaim a better education to their families putting a considerable more pressure on the back of their political representatives. Local and national constituents are to be forced to work not only to the business interest they represent but the home communities, as well.
Education & Tech