Good science, math teachers in high demand (Arizona Republic article)

April 7, 2006

By hammersmith

[Source: Anne Ryman, Arizona Republic] — Arizona schools are aggressively looking for qualified math and science teachers in anticipation of a shortage this fall. For parents and students, the shortage could mean schools using substitute teachers more often when the 2006-07 school year begins. One reason for the shortage is a federal No Child Left Behind Act requirement that teachers in core classes be highly qualified in their subject.

Teachers must have a certain number of college credits in their subject area or have passed a test. Veteran teachers have to prove they are highly qualified through a combination of years of experience, college course background and professional development. Six percent of Arizona teachers don’t meet the requirements.

The deadline for most teachers to qualify is the end of this school year, but the U.S. Department of Education recently said it will give states an additional year if they make good-faith efforts. Arizona has yet to find out whether it will be granted an extension, though Tom Horne, Arizona’s schools chief, expects the state to qualify. Some school districts have increased their math and science requirements in recent years, which means they need more teachers.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo of Mesa Biotech Academy students working in their lab.]