Superintendent Douglas: To Give Students the Education They Deserve, We Must Face Teacher Shortage Head On

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas today shared her thoughts on the release of the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) Educator Retention and Recruitment Task Force’s second report on the state of Arizona’s teacher shortage.

“All of my efforts as Superintendent are driven by the idea that Arizona children should leave school with the knowledge they need to determine their future, achieve their goals and be successful citizens,” said Superintendent Douglas. “Unfortunately, without highly effective teachers in every classroom we will always fall short of that goal. My hope is that by working together, we can use this report to end the teacher shortage and give our students the best education system in the nation.”

The Educator Retention and Recruitment Task Force, which is composed of ADE staff, school and district personnel and other education stakeholders, was established to identify issues causing the shortage of teachers and to share ways we can all work together to address the problem.

Included in the latest report are in-depth analyses of four critical factors that relate to strong educator retention and recruitment. These include economic impact; salaries, experience and quality; professional learning; and promising practices. Also discussed are several projects and efforts at the Arizona Department of Education that will support schools in their retention and recruitment efforts.

“As a former administrator, I can relate all too well to the sobering statistics addressed in this report,” said Dr. Cecilia Johnson, ADE Associate Superintendent for Highly Effective Teachers and Leaders and chair of the Task Force. “Given the importance of quality instruction to student achievement, the Department is developing resources and programs that can help our schools find and keep the outstanding teachers they need to be successful.”

Educator retention and recruitment was a key component of Superintendent Douglas’ AZ Kids Can’t Afford to Wait! Plan, which was released on Oct. 1, 2015. The plan included proposals for increased teacher salaries, enhanced preparation programs and strengthened teacher mentoring structures.