The Heat: U.S. teacher shortage

The Heat

Schools here in the United States are receiving significant attention — in part because of fierce debates over curriculum and COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates.

But they have another more significant problem years in the making. A teacher shortage felt in every state. According to the National Education Association, the pandemic has exacerbated a challenge that has seen massive staff shortages in public schools – leaving teachers increasingly burnt out, with an alarming 55 percent now saying they’re ready to leave the profession they love earlier than planned.

To discuss:

  • Jennifer Steele is an associate professor at American University’s School of Education.
  • Peter Cunningham served as an assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Education during the Obama administration. 
  • Daniel Domenech is a long-time school superintendent. He currently heads the American Association of School Administrators.
  • Lindsey Jensen was the Illinois Teacher of the Year in 2018, and recipient of the state’s Teacher Excellence Award from the National Education Association Foundation in 2020 — before leaving the profession the following year. 

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