It’s a little ironic that, in the midst of our national immigration debate, the Wichita school district recently hired 32 Filipino teachers to fill local vacancies in math and science. School officials say they couldn’t find qualified American candidates. If so, that’s sad — and should be a wake-up call for a country struggling to maintain its leadership in engineering and technology.
A large part of the problem is failure to attract and retain teachers — as many as 50 percent of new hires in urban districts quit after the first year. That’s unacceptable, considering the training invested in them and the critical need.
The district’s use of foreign teachers, while resourceful, is at best a short-term, stopgap solution. What are local school and civic leaders doing to address this glaring problem?
It’s time to upgrade pay for math and science teachers to reflect their worth in the market, and to treat all teachers with more respect.
Posted by Randy Scholfield
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