Archive for Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Program addresses teacher shortage

January 9, 2007


At the University of Texas at Austin, it was called UTeach.

In Lawrence, it could be UKanTeach.

"In Texas, in Kansas, everywhere, there's an incredible shortage of mathematics and science secondary teachers," said Jan Lariviere, project coordinator at Kansas University's Center for Science Education.

Lariviere will speak today to the Kansas State Board of Education. Her talk - covering the UTeach teacher preparation program - is part of a larger discussion on dealing with the state's teaching shortage.

Some districts are reaching beyond the country's borders to countries such as Spain and India to recruit teachers to fill vacancies, although the Lawrence district has not done so.

An informal survey of school districts, conducted in the fall by acting education commissioner Dale Dennis, found 497 teacher vacancies statewide. That figure was up slightly from the 483 reported in fall 2005.

Top areas of need, according to the informal survey, included special education, math, foreign language and science.

"This has been our worst year," said Martha Gage, director of teacher education and licensure for the Kansas State Department of Education. "Late summer and this fall have sort of been a nightmare for us with folks trying to find teachers."

Gage said today's talk will lay the groundwork for board action or any legislative proposals aimed at addressing teacher recruitment and retention.

The state education department has formed a recruitment committee that is developing strategies to address the issue. A Pre-Collegiate Teachers Preparation Program is in development to identify and mentor future teachers while they are themselves in middle school and high school.

And Lariviere, wife of KU Provost Richard Lariviere, will discuss the UTeach program, which helps introduce math and science college students to teaching and provides mentoring and support.

Jan Lariviere said the program helped more than double the number of UT-Austin students gaining teacher certification. Now the university is certifying more than 70 students each year in math and science, compared with about 25 each year at KU, she said. KU is exploring the UTeach model.

"I'd love to see the numbers double," Jan Lariviere said.


prioress 10 years, 11 months ago

And hold them accountable for good professional practice, just like the rest of Kansans who hold such a license.

prioress 10 years, 11 months ago

The BEST teachers should currently be making about 60-80K and working 12 months. They can teach some, serve as mentors and inspirations to others, and work with the most difficult children. Many of these people are proud, skilled professionals and their colleagues know who they are and (outside union rules) respect them. This is how most of the other industrial countries handle some of these issues. We can too. These teachers are not afraid of accountability and need little or no outside pressure to fulfill their duties.

marxisnotdead 10 years, 11 months ago

My wife and I have taught in Kansas and now reside and teach in a state to the West. We both graduated from Kansas Universities and have taught in higher education, secondary and middle school level insitutions. The problem surrounding the issue of teacher shortages goes well beyond the certification process and pay. Unfortunately, the teacher conditions are becoming so top-down driven by state assesments, attendance numbers and accountability reports that more often than not actual learning takes a back seat to political wrangling by those who "run" the system. My son, a KU student, recently discussed education as a career with us. Under the current conditions my wife and I were somewhat hesitant in encouraging this career as opposed to the other career options he discussed.

budwhysir 10 years, 11 months ago

Politicaly speaking, all day kindergarten costs 1 million per year. Many may remember my view point on this when the topic was spoke about. However, now we have another topic to cover and we will talk for days about it and then forget all about it again untill it comes up in a different manner then we will write and talk a different way untill we need to go on and on about how we could talk about another subject and the views of it and then we will have another topic untill we forget what we wanted to remember and then forget what we forgot untill we have a topic

marxisnotdead 10 years, 11 months ago

Being new to this discussion on the LJW site and at the risk of opening a can of worms what was your opinion/comment previously posted?

conservative 10 years, 11 months ago


Most of us just ignore buwhysir, he posts random rambles on most articles, none on topic. Not sure why.

budwhysir 10 years, 11 months ago

conservtive, please do not fill the newcomers with ideas like saying that you ignore my posts or that they are random rambles.

marxis my post simply states the political left and right wing facts of the article above. Thanks for your interest in my research.

budwhysir 10 years, 11 months ago


If you ignore me, you would never know who I am. Anyhow, I want you to know that it is lonely at the top but at least Im not breathing all that co2 you are getting from your coal fired power plants. I enjoy everyones posts and enjoy reading your posts

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