The Problems of Teacher Recruitment

The following quiz appeared in Education Week. See how well you do with this quiz:


  1. Which of the following areas of instruction have experienced teacher shortages in every state?
    1. Special education
    2. Foreign Language
    3. Nath & Science
    4. All of the above
  2. True or False. The number of people completing teacher-preparation programs is declining.
  3. True or False. Though a majority of students in American public schools are children of color, non-white teachers comprise less than a quarter of the teacher corps.
  4. Which of the following areas of instruction has experienced the most recurrent teacher shortages?
    1. Special education
    2. Math
    3. Computer science
    4. Foreign languages
  5. True or False. Most college students who consider teaching end up pursuing the profession.
  6. What percentage of U.S. teachers think that society values teaching as a profession?
    1. 22 percent
    2. 36 percent
    3. 51 percent
    4. 79 percent
  7. True or False. Teachers make 90 cents for every dollar paid to people in different professions with the same level of education.






Franklin with Michelle Lujan Grisham, Governor of New Mexico

Franklin presented his best-selling new book, “Who Will Teach The Children? Recruiting, Retaining & Refreshing Highly Effective Educators” to the governor who indicated that she was looking forward to reading and having her state’s Secretary of Education to implement the strategies the book recommends to slow the educational exodus.


BlueScope Group

I am honored to become a member of the BlueScope Collaborative. BlueScope works with several states including Texas, Louisiana and Massachusetts.

 Their mission is to build a national collective of education consultants (organizations, independent consultants, and individuals with full-time positions that may be open to moonlighting opportunities) to curate best-fit teams for specific projects. If you are interested in learning more about the collective or more about BlueScope’s work, please visit their website, through the link below.



Denmark’s Teacher Shortage

The United States is not the only country having difficulty attracting and retaining classroom teachers

I received the following from Joan Schmidt, Editor/Author, Copenhagen, Denmark:

“One in three teachers left the elementary school classroom since 2017. We do not have a shortage of educated teachers; we are facing the problem that they find elementary school as a working place and educational environment short of qualities. There is little individual freedom to plan and conduct teaching and long working hours. Forty-one percent of call entities are in want of qualified staffers leaving many with substitute that are less qualified than the ordinary teacher.”

My latest book, Who Will Teach The Children? Recruiting, Retaining and Refreshing Highly Effective Teachers” deals with this problem and proposes numerous strategies to stop this critical loss.


Retaining Support Personnel in Schools

Therapist Retention in Schools

It is a strange fact that there are more police officers in schools than support personnel like school counselors, social workers and speech therapists. The problem is not only recruitment but also retaining support personnel. Schools need to not only recruit but also to retain support personnel.

The following article is from Janet L. Courtney, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder/ CEO, Lighthouse Therapy LLC. Janet is an experienced Speech-Language Pathologist and  has demonstrated in the past 8 years, skills in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Hearing Impairment Disorders, Language Disorders, Articulation Disorders, Customer Service, Pediatrics, and Public Speaking. I am delighted to offer her an opportunity to give her viewpoint on the shortage of speech therapists.

How can schools keep or attract more quality, certified  therapists? What internal changes can reduce high turnover? Lastly, what other options are available to reduce burnout? When recruiting therapists, is it all about the money? The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) asked members to indicate the three most important factors for accepting or staying in a job.  Compensation/pay was in the top three, but flexibility was considered more important.

  1. Flexibility to balance life and work
  2. Compensation/pay
  3. Meaningfulness of job

Job flexibility can look as different from one person to the next.  Having the ability to work part-time, job sharing, the number of assigned locations, caseload size, and student population served are areas to explore to give therapists the desired flexibility.Keeping communication open and options available allows therapy staff to feel more in control of their position.  Knowing their opinion is heard and given consideration goes a long way toward retention because they are given options from year to year. Growth and development opportunities give quality staff a way to reach their full potential.  This may include a therapist interested in a technique or new service delivery model.  It can be mentorship of newer staff members.  Another option could be assistance with school committees in which they can help impact school policy or community interactions.  Giving your therapy staff trust and recognition is also extremely important.

There is a nationwide shortage of therapists . The US Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics, 2018, reported that there are an estimated 6.7 million public school students in the United States currently receiving special education services through an IEP. (U.S. Department of Education & National Center for Education Statistics, 2018). With the need for related service professionals going up and the continued shortages, it has become more critical to retain quality therapy staff.  Therapists are having to work with higher caseloads and additional responsibilities. Caseload size matters.  Having large caseloads, the therapists have difficulty collaborating with teachers and parents because they are too busy trying to get to all their students. Then add in transportation time for getting students to the therapy room or drive time between school sites and it becomes a recipe for a quick burn out.

The use of telepractice has been shown to be an effective way to alleviate therapist shortages. By choosing to add a telepractioner to your team, you can alleviate the caseload numbers for on the ground therapists, thus reducing the risk of burnout. Many studies have been done that support the use of telepractice. Nobody should have to experience therapist shortages.  By choosing to add telepractice services you are eliminating shortages and geographical constraints for your district and reducing the risk of losing great therapists.



Leaders Are the # 1 Cause and And the #1 Solution to Why Teachers Leave

Leadership is the #1 cause of why teachers leave the profession. Or rather the lack of leadership is the #1 cause why teachers leave. Too many teachers are thrown into classrooms and expected to “sink or swim’ on their own.

It the workshops I’ve conduct I ask, “how many of you were prepared to teach the day you you graduated from your school of education?” Few attendees reply in the positive. College teachers cannot prepare potential classroom educators for every challenge they will meet.

In my latest book, Who Will Teach The Children? Recruiting, Retaining, & Refreshing Highly Effective Educators, the longest chapter is about school leadership. I believe that it is the primary key to the retention of educators.


Happy Holidays

As you celebrate this holiday season with friends and family think of those who will not be doing that. They are away from families protecting our right to celebrate and possibly sacrificing their bodies and possibly their lives.

Wishing you, your family and and other loved ones a very merry blessed Christmas and a happy HEALTHY New Year. To my Jewish friends, a happy Hanukkah.


Where Have All Our Math Teachers Gone?

There are about 3.6 million public school teachers working in secondary schools in 90,000 public schools districts across 50 states. Almost 500,000 are classified as math and science teachers.

A new analysis by Richard Ingersoll in the American Educational Research Journal (September 2019)tracked teacher workforce for 20 years and suggested that retaining our present educators is the problem not recruiting new teachers. “In the same year that (President) Bush called for recruiting 30,000 STEM teachers, we had 26,000 quit. That’s a terrible waste of talent. ”Turnover of educators isn’t any higher for STEM subjects. For math teachers, the lack of classroom autonomy, weak professional development and     student discipline are the primary reason that causes them to leave. Professional development and student discipline are the primary reasons that science teachers leave. Low salaries are consistently mentioned by both groups. The paper reports that “high poverty, high minority and urban public schools have the highest mathematics and science turnover levels. But it is poor working conditions not bad students that contribute to high mobility says Ingersoll. “Teachers aren’t fleeing poor kids. They are fleeing poor jobs.”

According to research, most new jobs in America will be in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subject areas. America cannot produce high performing graduates in STEM subjects unless we have highly effective educators in school classrooms and front offices.

The results of the latest PISA test scores (2018)  by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.(OECD) reported the United States scores in mathematics have gone down. We are now the 31st lowest/highest performing math country below Hungary but above Belarus and Malta. “Overall, America’s 15-year-olds scored slightly above students from peer nations in reading, but below the middle of the pack in mathematics (NY Times, 12/3/2019)  and the gap between the high performing American students and the low performing is widening.

My new book, Who Will Teach The Children? Recruiting, Retaining & Refreshing Highly Effective Educators (available from Amazon) proposes solutions to slow the educational exodus.




My latest book review

I am proud and honored to announce that my latest book, Who Will Teach The Children? Recruiting, Retaining & Refreshing Highly Effective Educators  has just received its 9th 5 star review. The book is # 127 on the best selling Teacher and Student Mentoring List on Amazon after less than three months since publication. I have posted the review in its entirety below:

December 9, 2019

With many years of teaching and administrative experience behind him, Franklin Schargel is highly qualified to diagnosis and prescribe solutions to address a critical situation in public schools in the United States: a growing shortage of teachers. This situation is dire not just for the students currently enrolled, but for the country as a whole, as poor education is a drag on U.S. competitiveness worldwide. Schargel emphasizes the need to fund public schools, invest in education, and focus on recruiting and retaining good teachers by improving administrative support, school leadership, and school culture. His book is grounded in solid research and offers practical strategies and protocols for improving the situation. Schargel’s wealth of knowledge and experience make him a leading expert in this field.

Reviews from Denver Presentation regarding Who Will Teach The Children? book

“Engaging, experienced educator”.

“Absolutely amazing presentation! The data, the research, the solutions!” D. Thomas, Teacher, OK

“Lots of facts to support topics.  Thank you for addressing a topic that is often over-looked -the dropout rate of educators.”

“I’m grateful to hear someone talk about this issue with such passion and in support of teachers.” B. Moraja, Teacher, Colorado

“Franklin is both witty and quite enthusiastic and knowledgeable about what’s lacking in education and in our country.”

“Excellent presenter! He was informative and comical! He is well educated in his subject matter and he has presented it a lighthearted manner. Well done!” S. Bitz, Pathways Program Teacher, Alaska

“Thought provoking!” V. Tiblier, H.S. Principal, Ottawa, Canada

“Real life, no BS ideas and discussion of education.” E. Schalk, Director of Secondary Education, AK

“Franklin’s program is comprehensive and inclusive.” T Franklin, Coordinator, Early Childhood, Fort Myers, FL

“Great historical view of Teacher Shortage.” C. Craft, Academic Compliance

“Gives a sense of direction or improvement.”

“Very informative and information easy to understand.”  Assistant Principal

“HIs statements about all levels of education are refreshing.” G. Westerberg, Teacher, Clovis, HS

“The presentation was stirring and pushes you out of a comfort minded. Improving the retention rate teachers can be worked in at every level.” Assistant Principal., Clovis NM






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