Monday, April 13, 2009

The Old Teachers Are Retiring and Teacher Shortage Propaganda Popped Up in the News Again

The tsunami is not going to be so much the teachers retiring but the pension tsunami that will follow. States across America are going to be facing bankruptcy and I hope they do go bankrupt. If not taxes are going to be out of this world. These pension systems are nothing more than Ponzi Schemes and never should been put into place. You cannot pay 10% of your salary into a system and take out 75-90% of the last three years of salary in return. Any high school math teacher worth the paper their diploma was printed on should know that.

Teachers are retiring at 55 and 60, this is absurd. Especially considering most teachers are women and the high life expectancy of women. Retirement age for teachers should be at least 65 if not 70.

I actually do hope there is a teacher shortage and I realize in some communities there will be, but there does not have to be a teacher shortage. Holding a teaching certificate should not be a prerequisite to teaching. I would much rather have a mathematician teach math, a chemist teaching chemistry, a writer teaching english, a retired athlete teaching PE, etc. Instead we have hacks who have gone from kindergarten to college and back into the classroom, many never working in the real world are now supposedly preparing our children to function in the real world.

The following piece appears at

Cathy Peschke
Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Half of N.H. teachers 50 or older by Paul Briand
April 8, 6:23 AM ·

More than half of New Hampshire's teachers are 50 or older making it and other states vulnerable to a 'tsunami' of retirements in the next several years, according to a new report.

The retirements, coupled with a low retention of new teachers, leaves an inadequate supply of teachers, said the report from the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future.

"... over 1.7 million teachers and principals -- more than half of today’s educators -- are eligible to retire in less than ten years," said an introduction to the commission's white paper.

"On a small scale, retirements can make room for new teachers with fresh ideas, optimism, and enthusiasm. But when the scale is so large and you combine these retirements with the reality that 1/3 of new teachers leave in the first three years, we are pouring water into a bucket with big holes, draining teachers faster than we can replace them."

There are certainly challenges ahead when you put this report in context with a new N.H. Department of Education report that shows 253 schools don't meet targets for reading, math and other areas. It'll be tough to improve public education if it becomes difficult to staff classrooms.

New Hampshire is tied for fifth nationwide as having the most number of teachers 50 and older.

The details of the report show the state with the highest percentage is West Virginia with 68 percent.

Here, in order, are the states with the highest percentage that is most alarming to the commission:
West Virginia - 68 percent
Maine - 56 percent
Vermont - 55 percent
Montana - 55 percent
North Dakota - 54 percent
New Mexico - 54 percent
Indiana - 54 percent
New Hampshire - 53 percent
Massachusetts - 53 percent
Connecticut - 53 percent
Oregon - 53 percent
Wyoming - 53 percent
New Jersey - 53 percent
Washington - 51 percent
District of Columbia - 51 percent
Idaho - 51 percent
Illinois - 51 percent
Rhode Island - 50 percent

The state with the fewest percentage is Kentucky at 40 percent.

The commission is recommending an overhaul of our approach to education to a) better prepare and keep younger teachers and b) harness the numbers and intelligence of Baby Boomer retirees (teachers and non-teachers alike). It wants this report to serve as a catalyst for discussion on how to fundamentally change the approach to education.

Such a plan is already in the works in West Virginia, said the commission, because of its inordinately large number of potential retirees.

"The goal is to integrate learning with community resources and civic participation to build both stronger learning environments and stronger communities. Cross?generational learning teams that pool the knowledge, skill, and experience of multiple generations will be at the heart of efforts to create these true community learning centers," said the commission.

New Hampshire, according to the education department, showed some improvement in its annual report that measures performance standards as part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The report released Monday shows 253 schools and 81 districts did not meet performance standards, which is a slight improvement. The number of schools failing to make progress fell from 282 last year to 253 this year.

Schools that don't make adequate progress two years in a row are added to a list of schools in need of improvement. Seventy-two schools were added to the list and 12 were removed, bringing to 238 the number of schools in the state as in need of improvement; 54 districts are on the list.

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