To the Editor:
Many, many issues of Education Week have articles about the teacher shortage. This shortage is a huge issue in many parts of our country. If we don’t think big and take action now, thousands of children will lack qualified teachers. The children who need them most will be stuck with underqualified teachers or substitutes.
I have three ideas. First, many undocumented college students would love to teach. After getting certified, they could commit to teaching for five or more years and then receive a green card. There is already a path to legal residency for wealthy investors. Surely, these teachers are contributing greatly to our country.
Second, many precertified teachers currently working as instructional assistants would love to teach. They should be nurtured by their districts, with tuition and mentoring assistance to finish college and receive their teaching certificates.
Finally, internships: A robust internship where prospective teachers who have theirbachelor’s degrees are offered residencylike training in schools to earn a teaching certificate would do much to strengthen our profession.
The time is now. We must take innovative, concerted action. Our children deserve no less.
A version of this article appeared in the September 06, 2017 edition of Education Week as How to Solve the Teacher Shortage