Idaho receives middling grades for ‘teaching attractiveness’

Idaho ranked No. 30 in “teaching attractiveness,” according to a national report examining America’s teacher shortage.

Idaho’s grades from the Learning Policy Institute, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based nonprofit, represent a mixed bag:

  • Idaho gets low grades for teacher pay and starting salary.
  • Idaho’s teacher turnover numbers are troubling as well. According to the survey, 8.9 percent of Idaho teachers plan to leave the profession, compared to a national average of 6.6 percent.
  • Despite larger-than-average class size, Idaho scores high on working conditions — including administrative support and classroom autonomy.
  • Idaho also scores highly for teacher equity. For example, the percentages of uncertified and inexperienced teachers in high-minority schools come in lower than the national averages.

All told, Idaho received a 2.82 score on a five-point scale. Four of Idaho’s neighboring states scored higher — including Oregon, which ranked No. 1 in the nation. Idaho ranked higher than Montana and Nevada.

The Learning Policy Institute national report on teacher shortages paints a sobering picture for the future.

The demand for teachers is on the rise — partly because states and school districts are trying to reduce class sizes and bring back programs cut during the recession. Fewer college students are pursuing teaching careers. Meanwhile, an 8 percent annual attrition rate only intensifies the demand for qualified teachers.

More reading: Education Week breaks down the Learning Policy Institute report. Meanwhile, here’s an in-depth Idaho Education News report on Eastern Idaho’s teacher “famine.”