The Treasure Hunter

A blog by Joanne Yatvin

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

on October 16, 2019

At last I found a newspaper article I can respond to today. Although I’ve been writing regularly over the past few months the topics I have covered have been nothing new. My problem has been that I couldn’t find anything new about education, only the same old complaints about low test scores. But a few days ago I stumbled upon an interesting article involving education that I wanted to write about. It told the story of an area in our country where many teachers have left their schools in order to get better paying jobs in businesses.

Recently several southern states have suffered a severe shortage of high school science teachers who left for better paying jobs. In Arizona for instance, there were 7,000 school vacancies because teachers’ salaries were significantly lower than what they could get in various science and technical industries.

In order to fill the open teaching jobs many schools have sought teachers from other countries. And for this year, at least, they have been very successful in securing well-trained foreign teachers who are satisfied with the low salaries American schools offer because they were better than what they would earn at home. Even though many of their families would be left behind for a long time, it still seemed to be better for them to work at jobs in the U.S. than in their home countries.

Unfortunately for us, however, our education problems are not solved. For one thing, not all the new teachers have standard teaching certificates or speak English well enough to communicate effectively with our students. But even more significant is the fact that our federal laws do not allow them to stay indefinitely or become citizens. After two or five years, at the most, their credentials will expire and they will have to leave this country. Also. many of those workers who can stay legally prefer to go home and be with their families once more.

As I see the situation, the scarcity of American teachers in certain areas has not been solved. In fact it has only been delayed, and is likely to increase and spread as time goes on. Eventually, our country will see a significant scarcity of all kinds of teachers in all areas because we pay them inadequately and treat them badly. My intention is to describe and explain those educational problems I am aware of in my next article because it is too large and complicated to explain here and now. Hang in there! I promise to describe and explain my views next time.

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