Note: The final report of this task force was presented to the Governor's P-20 Leadership Council on June 10, 2008 and is linked at the bottom of this page.
Maryland faces a crisis in its supply of teachers. It is a complex problem that has many overlapping facets, but it is one that must be solved if we are to sustain the growth in student achievement that we all desire. Year after year the Maryland State Department of Education Staffing Report identifies trends and shortage areas. Yet the problem remains.
On December 1, 2006, Dr. Edward L. Root sent correspondence to Dr. Nancy Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Brit Kirwan, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, and Dr. Calvin Burnett, then Secretary of Higher Education, outlining the Maryland State Board of Education's concerns about the teacher shortage crisis and requesting that the PreK-16 Leadership Council make this crisis its top priority. The Leadership Council asked the PreK-16 Workgroup to come back to the Council with its own review of the issues. That report was made to the Leadership Council in March 2007. The Council considered this report as well as comments from other groups and decided that Maryland needed a high level Task Force to conduct a comprehensive review of this matter and report back to the Council with its recommendations.
This Task Force is charged with the following:
1. Articulate the problem
2. Gather data on what is working and not working, using internal and external focus groups, for example
a. Why do high school students choose not to enter teaching?
b. Why do teachers stay or leave the profession?
c. What is working in Maryland?
d. What is working around the country, such as, "U-Teach" in Texas?
e. What are the migration patterns of teachers (resignation, retirement, county to county transfer, state to state transfer)?
f. What are the effects of Professional Development Schools (use the Towson Study)?
3. Develop a comprehensive set of recommendations specific to Maryland and responsive to the January 18, 2007 PreK-16 Workgroup summary of issues as enumerated below:
a. Higher education curricular initiatives
i. Interdisciplinary programs
ii. Involvement of arts and sciences faculty
iii. Differentiated majors
iv. Discipline-specific education tracks
b. Certification issues
i. Alternative certification
ii. Praxis cut scores
iii. Career changers
c. Marketing and communications
i. External information to the media
ii. Articulation with and among counselors at all levels
iii. Information to students to create engagement
iv. Information to career changers
d. Incentives, for example:
ii. Tuition waivers
v. New teacher assignments
vi. Working conditions, for example
1. Leadership issues
(and their effect on retention)
2. Student discipline
3. Class size and total student load
4. Preparation time
5. Professional development
PreK-12: Up to 12 representatives (not including the co-chair) to include representation from MSDE, local directors of human resources, principals, classroom teachers, local superintendents, local assistant superintendents of instruction, local executive officers, Maryland PTA, MSTA, and BTU
Higher Education: Up to 12 representatives (not including the co-chair) to include faculty and academic professional staff drawn from community colleges and public and independent institutions, including Historically Black Institutions, and to include deans and directors of teacher education programs, institution-wide academic officers from four-year colleges and universities, education faculty, and arts and sciences faculty/administrators
Other: In addition to the PreK-12 and higher education representatives (including the co-chair), the Task Force will have six (6) representatives from a variety of other sources (e.g., business, government, professional organizations).
The Task Force will be co-chaired by one PreK-12 representative and one higher education representative to be determined by the three co-chairs of the Leadership Council.
A subset of the Task Force, with equal representation from both the PreK-12 and higher education communities will be created as a steering and writing committee.
Duration of the Task Force
This Task Force will meet throughout the 2007-08 school year and present its report to the PreK-16 Leadership Council in June 2008.
The Maryland Teacher Shortage Task Force Report was presented to the Governor's P-20 Leadership Council on June 10, 2008.