Filling Teacher Shortage: First Focus Closer to Home

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    University of Hawaii professor emeritus Loretta Krause recently observed
    “Hawaii must find new ways to recruit teachers if we are to successfully replace
    those who are leaving.” Her recommendation is to “expand the search by
    including the international market as a source for highly qualified, experienced
    teachers [as] other school districts are already doing.”

    Before playing an expensive global hopscotch game in search of public school
    teachers to fill our classrooms, maybe we ought to focus the effort closer to


    We have right here in the state a humongously large, lavishly funded ($2 billion dollar per year) governmental department that has sucked thousands
    of certified teachers out of their classrooms over the years and now has them
    driving desks, attending meetings, watching power point presentations,
    traveling hither and yon shuffling paper on an endless variety of topics. And what is
    the name of this department? Why none other than our very own state
    Department of Education.

    Who knows? If the DOE bureaucratic rat maze were leaned out, there might
    turn out to be a teacher surplus — or at least the means to substantially reduce
    the average class size — without spending an extra penny of hard earned tax

    Of course this would mean putting the education of children ahead of the
    bureaucratic “career” interests of important people.

    On second thought, forget it. Professor Krause is probably right. Let’s dump
    several million more tax dollars each year on DOE so the position of
    assistant superintendent for international teacher recruitment can be created, filled
    and an expanded staff of “specialists” hired to oversee the effort.

    For those tempted conclude the so called teacher “shortage” is a case of
    starving amidst plenty, it pays to remember that DOE is the ultimate self-licking
    ice cream cone: There will never be “enough” money to do the job right, so the
    only question of importance is how to justify the need for more money.

    ”’Thomas E. Stuart is a public school teacher in Kapaau, Hawaii, and can be reached via email at:”’

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