Las Vegas Teacher Shortage: Can the City of Sin Fix its Teacher Shortage With Superhero Capes and Flash Mobs?
LAS VEGAS—One morning in mid-August, hundreds of newly hired teachers milled about the South Point Casino here—most of them wearing gleaming red capes.
In the current parlance of Vegas schools, teachers are now “superheroes.” Beginningin January of this year, the city embarked on a rambunctious teacher-recruitment campaign titled “Calling All Heroes” that aimed to bring about 2,600 new teachers to the district. The effort—which could be considered creative, desperate, or desperately creative, depending on your point of view—featured the superintendent of the Clark County School District, the nation’s fifth-largest, zip-lining down Vegas’ famous Fremont Street. Last winter, Vegas school officials enlisted volunteers in Boston to spell out the district’s website address into a Boston snow bank. And in a district-created Web video, two elementary school–aged news anchors announced: “Breaking news! Turns out that we are in crisis, as we have a severe hero teacher shortage!”