From the US DOE:
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan today launched a national teacher recruitment campaign during a live MSNBC broadcast as part of the NBC Education Summit in New York. The campaign features a new web site dedicated to providing information and resources for students and prospective teachers — including a new interactive “pathway to teaching” tool designed to help individuals chart their course to becoming a teacher.
“With more than a million teachers expected to retire in the coming years, we have a historic opportunity to transform public education in America by calling on a new generation to join those already in the classroom,” said Secretary Duncan. “We are working with the broader education community to strengthen and elevate the entire teaching profession so that every teacher has the support and training they need to succeed.”
The campaign has several goals, including:
* Increasing the number, quality and diversity of people seeking to become teachers, particularly in high-need schools (rural and urban) and subject areas in greatest demand: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), English Language Learners (ELL), and Special Education.
* Connecting aspiring teachers with information about the pathways to teaching including preparation, certification, training and mentoring.
* Celebrating and honoring the profession of teaching.
The campaigns will also encourage more minority males to pursue careers in the classroom. Nationwide, more than 35 percent of public school students are black or Hispanic, but less than 15 percent of teachers are Black or Latino. Less than two percent of our nation’s teachers are African-American males.
Within seconds of the US DOE release, there was this response from Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers:
We welcome the U.S. Department of Education’s campaign to recruit, support and celebrate teachers. Millions of teachers work hard every day to make a difference in their students’ lives, and each year many thousands more are needed to join this important profession. These new teachers — like all teachers — must be supported. As rewarding as teaching is, it is extremely complex, difficult work.
Research shows that students benefit from having teachers with three to five years of experience, but many teachers lack the support to make it to that point. Mentoring, coaching, time to collaborate with colleagues, and feedback on classroom performance all can help new and struggling teachers thrive in their profession. Supporting and retaining teachers not only benefits their students, it’s an economic imperative. A respected national study found that the huge rate of teacher turnover in U.S. school systems costs more than $7 billion every year.
Every child deserves to have great teachers. But achieving that takes more than simply talking about it. At a time when many critics are quick to indiscriminately demonize and demoralize teachers, we welcome this call to trengthen and elevate the entire teaching profession so that all teachers have the support and training they—and their students—need to succeed