NCTQ Releases Analysis of States’ Efforts to Address Teacher Shortages and Surpluses

New Analysis Highlights What States Are Doing Right and Where They Are Falling Short on Tackling Teacher Shortages


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Washington, D.C. -- Today, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its Teacher Shortages and Surpluses Databurst, an analysis of states' work to track teacher shortages and surpluses, and to implement the policy solutions to address these challenges. This resource includes an overview of promising practices currently being implemented, a snapshot of all 50 states' and the District of Columbia's efforts in addressing teacher supply and demand challenges, and noteworthy state policies by region across the country.

Currently, 30 states maintain data systems that collect teacher supply data from preparation programs. However, only eight states connect these supply data to district-level hiring statistics, which is necessary to determine the extent to which teacher preparation programs are producing teachers.

"States are uniquely-situated to collect and report the necessary data to enable schools to meet their hiring needs," said Elizabeth Ross, Managing Director of State Policy at NCTQ. "The Databurst is designed to support states in their efforts to address short-term and long-term challenges related to teacher shortages and surpluses so that ultimately, every child is taught by excellent teachers."

In addition to comprehensive data on each state's efforts to address teacher shortages, this resource recognizes regional leaders in this work across the United States and provides five concrete recommendations for states to improve their efforts.

  1. Collect teacher labor market data at the local level;
  2. Collect data on teacher preparation program graduates, including completion rates and certification area, as well as data on hiring and retention;
  3. Explicitly connect program supply data to district-level demand data to identify areas of shortage and surplus;
  4. Use existing data to predict potential areas of over- and under-production in future years; and
  5. Require preparation programs to set parameters around the number of candidates that can be prepared in each certification area based on existing and predicted need.
It further recommends that all states consider opportunities to expand their pool of teachers in high-need, hard-to-staff schools and subjects. Specifically, states can advance this work by reviewing their compensation structures to ensure that they provide districts with an opportunity to value relevant, prior work experience and facilitate their districts' use of part-time teachers with expertise in high-need, hard-to-staff subjects, such as the secondary sciences.

The Databurst and these recommendations are available here.

The Databurst is the first in a series of analyses to support states' efforts to improve policies that impact teacher quality. NCTQ examined these policies in depth and provided states with grades and recommendations in the 2017 State Teacher Policy Yearbook.

To read more on the role teacher preparation programs can play in collecting graduate data, read our latest Profiles blog here.


About the National Council on Teacher Quality
The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) is a nonpartisan research and policy group, committed to modernizing the teaching profession and based on the belief that all children deserve effective teachers. NCTQ is the nation's expert on the quality of teacher preparation programs and evaluates national teacher education against evidence-based criteria. More information about NCTQ can be found on our website,

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