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Indiana has a teacher shortage.
Is it surprising? State after state has teacher shortages. This is the outcome of a dozen years of phony “reform,” which demonizes teachers, bust unions, takes away teachers’ right to due process, and ties salaries and evaluations to test scores.
Dave Bangert of the Journal & Courier writes:
What sort of gymnastics will state lawmakers try to pull off at this point to remedy a looming teacher shortage after years of running off potential, young candidates by convincing Hoosiers that public schools were essentially broken?
And will they actually be willing to shoulder some of the blame?
We’re about to find out.
Last week, the chairmen of the Indiana House and Indiana Senate education committees asked House Speaker Brian Bosma for a summer study into the creeping ambivalence to the teaching profession. It’s a situation that has depleted the ranks of undergrads studying education in state universities and put some districts on their heels when it comes to recruiting for open positions.
In their letter to Bosma, Rep. Robert Behning and Sen. Dennis Kruse laid out numbers that have pricked up ears in recent months. New data from the state show that “licenses issued to first-time teachers (have) declined from 16,578 in 2010 to 6,174 in 2014.”
“We think,” Behning and Kruse wrote, “it would be wise for the Indiana General Assembly to proactively address this issue.”
Where to start?
The biting commentary came right away from teachers, who have been bristling under state-pushed reforms — the killing of collective bargaining, the rise of private school vouchers, pay raises tied in part to student performance on standardized tests and more — put into high gear in 2010.
Was “reform” intended to make teaching an undesirable profession? Was its purpose to drive good teachers out of their classrooms and discourage many from entering teaching? If so, “reform” is working. But it isn’t reform. It’s destruction.