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Applying the Concept of 'Supply & Demand' to the Teacher Shortage in America

Careers in law and business are in high demand according to the 2016 Pricing for Salary Survey Reports and DataOnDemand released by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). This means that we teachers are fairly included in the list because as Frederick Hess from Education Next points, "salaries and annual raises vary tremendously across disciplines."
Shortage of American Teachers

Every week or two the newspaper headlines bring up a note about the teachers' shortage in the STEM area. This is due to a lack of interest in 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 a high demand for certified teachers in 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 professionals with academic credentials to get into education and decide 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 others 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 a system) works in this country we need more than ideas and articles in very visible magazines. The community has to reclaim a better education to their families putting considerably 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.

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