Top of mind: We need changes in the pathways to becoming a teacher in Wisconsin

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teacher helping student at deskAs the school year starts, top of mind for many schools in Wisconsin is the current teacher shortage. The problem has garnered lots of nationwide coverage. Staff shortages plague both public and private schools in the state.

In mid-July, School Choice Wisconsin did a survey on this topic. The 133 choice schools that responded reported 355 open positions at the K­–12 level. This is a much higher than usual rate, according to longtime education administrators at School Choice Wisconsin.

Forty providers offer teacher preparation programs in the state. To become a licensed teacher, one must follow one of four pathways. The road can be long and tangled, long and tangled enough to serve as a disincentive to good candidates, especially those who are mid career.

Bottom line: The teacher staffing crisis cannot be solved on the hiring end aloneWe need changes in the pathways to becoming a teacher in this state. 

With so many eyes on this problem, solutions will emerge for choice schools. Stay tuned to ChoiceWords for more on that.

— By Mary Reardon for School Choice Wisconsin

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