EP 635 Why Do We Have a Teacher Shortage in America? There Are Many Reasons



The American public education system, K-12, is plagued with problems at this moment.  On the heels of a pandemic that turned teaching from one of the most impactful, personal professions into one in which remote exchanges were dominant, this just begins to scratch the surface.  We find an inability to recruit enough qualified college graduates into the teaching profession, stagnant compensation, which certainly contributes to the former, heavier workloads and declining prestige for those who enter the field. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of students graduating from college with bachelor’s degrees in education fell from 176,307 in 1970-71 to 85,058 in 2019-2020.  And wages are essentially unchanged from 2000 to 2020 after adjusting for inflation.  Matthew Kraft of Brown University and, our guest, Melissa Arnold Lyon of the University at Albany, State University of New York, in their 2022 paper “The Rise and Fall of the Teaching Profession: Prestige, Interest, Preparation, and Satisfaction Over the Last Half Century,” tracked trends on “four interrelated constructs: professional prestige, interest among students, preparation for entry and job satisfaction” over 50 years.  She has a conversation with me about their findings.

Link to Paper discussed in this podcast