The job market for teachers improved slightly in 2005, for the second consecutive year, but colleges of education say the mandate for “highly qualified” teachers under the federal No Child Left Behind Act could result in a drop in the supply.
The findings were reported in an annual survey of the deans, directors, and career-center directors of more than 1,200 teacher colleges, conducted by the American Association for Employment in Education, a Columbus, Ohio-based research and advocacy group.
Of the 64 fields in which the colleges offer programs, 29 are reported to be in some degree of shortage, the survey found, while 32 reflected an increase in demand from the previous year. Eight of the top 10 shortage fields are in special education. For the 10th consecutive year, no fields are reported as having a big surplus. The shortages and surpluses vary by geography and discipline.
B. J. Bryant, the executive director of the AAEE, said the improving economy in 2004-05 meant school districts were more willing and able to hire.
Still, she added, candidates coming out of teacher education programs can find it daunting to satisfy all the state and federal mandates.
“They have to make sure they’re meeting ‘highly qualified’ standards, apply for licensure, and take a competency test, among other things,” she said. “That’s a lot of hoops to jump through.”