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.”


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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