On the basis of their own school's experience, officials of the college of education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, suggest that the shortage of mathematics and science teachers will not be alleviated in the near future.
Last year, for example, the university's college of education graduated only one physics teacher--its first in three years.
In addition, only five graduates were certified last year as chemistry teachers and four as general-science instructors.
Mathematics teachers also were rare. Last year, 11 of the college's graduates entered that field.
The number of graduates in mathematics and science does not meet the needs of Wisconsin schools, according to Robert Heideman, placement director at the college of education. Last year, there were nearly 400 positions available for mathematics and science teachers, Mr. Heideman said.
The University of Massachusetts, seeking to stem similar problems, has attracted mathematics and science students to teaching by offering graduate-level trainees an industry internship and an annual stipend of $14,000 if they promise to teach in a Massachusetts public school for at least three years.
According to Klaus Schultz, the director of the Math-Science Technology Education Project, the program is a cooperative effort between schools, industries, and the university. The students, in addition to completing industry internships and coursework for their master's degrees, also complete an internship at a public school and take education courses during the summer.
About 17 students will participate in the program this year and, out of 100 applications, 24 students have been selected for the program next year, Mr. Schultz said.
Mr. Schultz reports that college officials in several states have expressed an interest in replicating the program.
Oklahoma's state employment office will launch a job-placement service next month for rural public-school districts.
While there is a surplus of teachers in larger cities, the rural districts have trouble finding teachers, according to John Folks, state superintendent of education. More than two-thirds of the state's school districts have 500 or fewer students.
The service will provide a "job-availability register" each month to county school superintendents.
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education will release a videotape this month on "what teaching is and means."
The videotape, produced with financial backing from the U.S. Education Department's office of special education, is to be used as a public-relations and recruiting tool for colleges of education, according to officials of the association.
For more information, write Diane Merchant or Janie Valdez at aacte, One Dupont Circle, Suite 610, Washington, D.C. 20036.--cc
Vol. 04, Issue 26