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U.S. Schools Fill District Shortages with International Teachers

U.S. Schools Fill District Shortages with International Teachers

U.S. schools are continuing to find themselves hiring teachers from outside of the country. In fact, the American Federation of Teachers estimated that 19,000 international teachers were working in the U.S. on temporary visas in 2007, and the number is growing steadily.

An article on DistrictAdministration.com, looks at the Casa Grande Union School District in Arizona where Superintendent Shannon Goodsell found that they had “19 teacher openings, in part due to turnover and newly-retired teachers, and zero applications.”

“After embarking on a statewide search, administrators in the rural district of 3,800 students found many other Arizona districts faced the same problem,” the article said. “And as of mid-October, some 500 vacant teaching positions were posted on the state Department of Education job board.”

The Casa Grande administrators, according to the article, “hired a consulting agency to search for teachers overseas.”

According to the article, “Avenida International Consultants gave administrators videos of candidates from the Philippines teaching in classrooms,” the article said. “Administrators then conducted interviews with the candidates via Skype to assess their skills and English-language abilities. Goodsell hired 11 math and science teachers, who relocated and started work this fall.”

“We’re very pleased in regard to who we’ve been able to attract to our small district,” Goodsell said. “The teachers have done a great service for our kids and community.” All of the Filipino teachers have bachelor’s degrees, and many have master’s degrees and are working on doctorates in the subject they are teaching.”

U.S. schools, the article said, “have hired teachers from abroad for decades.”

“But as baby boomers retire and school enrollment steadily increases, more districts are searching internationally to find candidates for difficult-to-fill math and science positions,” said the article. “The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that districts will need to hire nearly half a million teachers by the end of the decade.”

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor 

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