Top state ed officials concerned about teacher shortage


Elia, left, and Zimpher

NEW PALTZ – SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia visited the SUNY New Paltz campus, Tuesday afternoon, to meet with directors of teacher education programs and education professionals as part of their statewide #TeachNY listening tour visits.
#TeachNY began about a year ago and has been an effort to keep a continuous pool of teachers available for local education systems, as well as to find ways to implement industry best practices.
Zimpher said since they began #TeachNY, one of the issues they have run into is a teacher shortage and one of the hopes of those listening tour visits is to find a solution to that problem.
“One of the things we are talking about now is how to use those recommendations to inform us on teacher supply and demand, on lifting up the teaching profession, on making the teaching profession more practiced based, on learning how to use assessments and data, and also seeking to create an investment fund so that we can create the best possible teacher education programs in New York,” said Zimpher.
Commissioner Elia said another issue they are looking at with #TeachNY is not only providing a solution to the shortage of teachers, but to ensure that those teachers coming in to fill the gaps have the necessary certifications in order to provide the highest quality of education to their students.
“When you look across the whole gamut of New York State, and all of these schools that are looking for teachers, it’s really critical to make sure they have the right certification, and that they’re ready to go into our classrooms, and that’s what this is all about: how can we facilitate having that happen, and be successful at it, so that every classroom has a great teacher in it who’s well prepared to meet the needs of their students,” said Elia.
Both the chancellor and commissioner agree that another goal is having a codified system put in place for education students to have a trajectory for local district placement. Currently, these job placement arrangements have been verbal in nature, without a solid, mandated procedure.
The statewide listening tour visits are projected to be done by Labor Day and the plan is to begin codifying the job placement procedure immediately afterward. 

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