Arthur Levine, president of the Wilson foundation and the former president of Columbia University's Teachers College: "We have to take people who are older, who are proven, who have substantial careers behind them and give them much more rigorous preparation programs than we've traditionally had"
A 2007 University System of Georgia report, “Math+Science=Success,” outlined the desperate need for teachers in the “STEM” disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math. By 2010, the report warned, Georgia will need to produce 2,060 middle school science and high school teachers of life sciences, chemistry, earth science and physics.
The state has taken steps to improve those numbers. Through a $34.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation, while worthwhile, such initiatives can’t create supply to meet the urgent demand. However, another source of potential new teachers — midcareer college graduates willing to switch careers — is far larger than anyone realized.
“In order to turn this pool into teachers, we have to increase their salaries, better their preparation and improve the support they receive on the job,” says Arthur Levine, president of the Wilson
foundation and the former president of Columbia University
’s Teachers College. “We have to take people who are older, who are proven, who have substantial careers behind them and give them much more rigorous preparation programs than we’ve traditionally had. What we should not do is pull people out of jobs, give them quickie programs and put them into the classroom without ongoing support.”
The article, "Classrooms needs new infusion of applicants” appeared in the September 14, 2008 edition of the the Atlanta
Published Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2008