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IFT offers solutions to Illinois’ teacher shortage

5/25/2018
Our state’s teacher shortage isn’t a new problem, but it’s grown into a full-blown crisis. It has been exacerbated by so-called education “reforms” and systemic inequities. And in the last three years, Governor Rauner has made the shortage worse by attacking teachers and holding our state hostage to his political demands.
 
Earlier this week, IFT President Dan Montgomery laid out the problem and offered solutions in an op-ed in the State Journal-Register.
 
Here’s an excerpt:

 
“…something changed dramatically around 2001 with No Child Left Behind. It was packaged as “school reform” and pushed by many who hadn’t spent time in a classroom since they graduated.
 
It brought an overemphasis on standardized testing, biased teacher evaluation systems, a narrowed curriculum, loss of professional autonomy, and reduced funding for professional development. It established school accountability systems based heavily on student test scores, without any consideration for inequities in resources and opportunities.

 
And it made attacking teachers and our unions fashionable.
 
Sadly, Gov. Bruce Rauner has turned it into an art form.
 
…Despite these challenges, there are ways to meaningfully address the teacher shortage, and the solutions fall into three categories: recruitment, retention and equity.”

The IFT leader concluded:
 

"…I believe in the potential of our state’s teachers and students, and I believe together we can stabilize Illinois’s education system, making it possible to attract and retain the excellent educators our children deserve.”

Our union will continue to closely monitor action in Springfield on the teacher shortage and speak out about solutions that are in the best interests of students and educators. Check Under the Dome for regular updates throughout legislative session.
 
 
Read President Montgomery’s complete op-ed here. For more on this topic, you can also read the Spring issue of Union Link.

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