The Education Cliff

Arizona can't recruit enough qualified teachers or replace the ones that retire. Some teachers leave for salaries up to 75% higher. Can community colleges and other organizations help keep Arizona students from falling off the education cliff? This podcast series is supported by F2 Family Foundation, Rio Salado College, and Intel.

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Episode 1: Where Have All The Teachers Gone?

Christopher Cuellar

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Arizona's schools are in trouble. Why? They can't recruit enough teachers, and often, they can't retain the ones they do hire. Many classrooms are led by teachers with emergency certification. A large number of teachers are nearing retirement age -- and there isn't a corps of qualified replacements lined up. In a state that ranks near the bottom for per-pupil spending, nonprofits and community colleges are the only things keeping Arizona's kids from falling off the education cliff.

 

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Episode 2: Better Opportunities Elsewhere

Classroom

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Before Arizona can fix its teacher recruitment issues, they have to address an even bigger problem: the fact that almost half of all teachers quit within three years. Some leave to teach in states with higher salaries, while others leave the profession entirely. While community organizations can't fix the pay or funding, they can support early-career teachers and give them the resources they need in order to stay. 

 

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Episode 3: Help Wanted

Help Wanted

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In this episode, we profile two organizations that work to tap under-utilized reservoirs of talent and put qualified, quality teachers in Arizona classrooms.

Episode 4: Teacher Diversity

Crayons

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Countless studies show that students have better educational outcomes when their teachers are more diverse. In a state where it's hard enough to recruit any teachers, finding a teaching force that looks like the student body can be difficult. Some school districts are partnering with educational institutions to grow their own diverse teaching staffs.