Monday, August 5, 2019

WBEZ: Hundreds Of Chicago Schools Go Without Teachers And Subs — Mostly In Schools Serving Black Students

For right now we hit the education beat:
This is the stark reality in Chicago Public Schools. Last school year, almost a third of 520 district-run schools — 152 — had at least one regular education or special education teacher position open all year long, a WBEZ analysis shows.

The problem is most acute at schools serving low-income and black students. They are twice as likely as all other schools to have a yearlong teacher vacancy. Chicago’s 28 schools with majority white student populations had no yearlong vacancies.

And making matters worse CPS also has a severe substitute teacher shortage, a WBEZ analysis shows. At 62 schools, half the time a teacher was absent no substitute showed up.
Really?
Chicago Public School officials acknowledge the problems filling substitute requests and teacher vacancies. They also note that just because there’s a vacancy doesn’t mean students miss instruction. Principals will usually make sure students get some work and they will do their best to work with the teachers they have, officials say.

But students, parents, teachers and community organizers tell stories of students not having math, English, gym, Spanish or special education support for months at a time, if not an entire year.

One parent, who wanted to remain anonymous, said when her child’s school couldn’t fill one of two sixth-grade teacher positions, the one teacher took on all 57 students in that grade.

Often, when there is a long-term vacancy, students get a parade of substitutes who might give them worksheets or worse — spend time sitting in an auditorium without any school work to do.
What's going on with this?
School district leaders constantly say they want to make the school district more equitable. And nothing gets to the heart of the district’s inequities more than the reality that some schools struggle securing teachers while others are fully staffed, said Matt Lyons, CPS' chief talent officer.

But he said this is an outgrowth of systemic and societal issues that can’t be fixed quickly. Over the past few years, the school district has started one program that helps 60 struggling schools hire teachers and another that pays extra money to subs willing to work in 75 hard-to-staff schools. It also plans to expand a program that offers alternative teaching degrees in areas like special education.

Lyons said these programs are starting to work, but acknowledges there is a long way to go.
This is an article that is worth your time. What can be done about this teacher shortage?