Tackling Teacher Shortages in Arizona
February 8, 2019

Arizona advocates are helping implement a new “grow your own” initiative in a state where almost 25 percent of teaching positions remain vacant and almost half were filled with staff lacking certification requirements.

A for Arizona, in partnership with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is using a set of workforce-building strategies called Talent Pipeline Management (TPM). TPM uses principles of supply chain management and other practices from the private sector to inform and streamline sourcing, recruiting, and developing talent.

Advocates are also taking advantage of “grow your own” legislation from 2017 that allows schools to train aspiring teachers as well as directly issue credentials. Teachers will still require a college degree, two years in a classroom, and data showing candidates were effective in driving student learning.

A for Arizona’s efforts to tackle teacher shortages are profiled in The 74, describing how they “back-mapped” Arizona’s effective teachers to where they had been trained and interviewed K-12 and higher education leaders statewide. A for Arizona then convened educators to find common recruitment and evaluation challenges and create systems for attracting aspiring teachers.

So far, A for Arizona has worked with 86 schools that have earned the highest academic rating while also serving student populations where at least 60 percent were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

Stay tuned for updates on this work in Arizona, and let us know if you’d like to connect with advocates there.

You can also learn more about this topic in a new report from Bellwether Education Partners, Nuance in the Noise: The Complex Reality of Teacher Shortages.

Eric Eagon

Eric is PIE Network's Senior Director, Educator Voice and Policy

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