Press Release

New Reports Analyze Causes and Consequences of Teacher Shortages Recommendations Focus on Ensuring Every Student is Taught by a Fully Prepared and Effective Teacher


Sue Dorfman, 202-798-5595
Robert Johnston, 703-508-9848

(Washington, DC, September 15, 2016) As school opened this year, districts across the country found themselves scrambling to find qualified teachers in the face of a growing teacher shortage. More than 40 states have reported serious shortages of teachers for math, science, and special education, and more than 30 states report serious shortages of teachers for English learners.

According to new research conducted by the Learning Policy Institute (LPI), the nation is staring at a serious teacher deficit that is only going to get worse unless steps are taken now to address it. The analysis, A Coming Crisis in Teaching? Teacher Supply, Demand and Shortages in the U.S., is part of a package of research reports and briefs released today that provide the most comprehensive look to date at the causes and consequences of teacher shortages and offer evidence-based policy recommendations to develop a strong and stable teaching workforce.

The LPI analysis points to two chief causes of growing teacher shortages: a dramatic decline in the number of students enrolling in teacher preparation programs, as well as high turnover rates for teachers leaving the profession before retirement age.

“The teaching profession continues to be a leaky bucket, losing more than 200,000 teachers each year,” said Linda Darling-Hammond, president and CEO of LPI.  “And the gross numbers mask what already has become a critical shortfall in qualified teachers assigned to low-income and high-minority schools.”

The LPI research also provides the basis for a new interactive map that includes numeric ratings of each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia on factors that influence teacher supply, demand, and equity, such as compensation and working conditions.

“Our hope is that the research and related tools spark a national conversation focused on developing and supporting the quality teaching workforce that is critical to ensuring equitable educational opportunities for all students,” says Darling-Hammond.

That conversation will be launched at today’s LPI-sponsored forum in Washington, DC, Solving Teacher Shortages: Attracting and Recruiting a Talented and Diverse Teaching Workforce. More than 250 policymakers, practitioners, and advocates will explore research on the extent and nature of current shortages and evidence-based strategies for teacher recruitment and retention that provide effective long-term solutions. 

Please follow the conversation on #solvingteachershortages. In the coming weeks, we will post videos and a written report of today’s forum.

Today’s release includes the following report and briefs:

A Coming Crisis in Teaching? Teacher Supply, Demand, and Shortages in the U.S.
By Leib Sutcher, Linda Darling-Hammond, and Desiree Carver

Solving the Teacher Shortage: How to Attract and Retain Excellent Educators
By Anne Podolsky, Tara Kini, Joseph Bishop, and Linda Darling-Hammond

The Teacher Residency: An Innovative Model for Preparing Teachers
By Roneeta Guha, Maria E. Hyler, and Linda Darling-Hammond

Minority Teacher Recruitment, Employment, and Retention: 1987 to 2013
By Richard Ingersoll and Henry May

National Interactive Map: Understanding Teacher Shortages
A State-by-State Analysis of the Factors Influencing Teacher Supply, Demand, and Equity
(A version to embed is available on the Learning Policy Institute website)

To arrange interviews with the report authors, please contact Sue Dorfman at 617-513-6179 or or Robert Johnston at 703-508-9848 or


About The Learning Policy Institute

The Learning Policy Institute conducts and communicates independent high-quality research to improve education. Working with policymakers, researchers, educators, community groups, and others, we seek to advance evidence-based policies that support empowering and equitable learning for each and every child. For more information, please visit

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