From the Teacher Quality Bulletin:
New York City is so short of math and science teachers that even a science magnet started the school year without enough science teachers.
Some 30 city schools have “science” in their names, but, like Kaitlin’s academy, many can’t back up the promise with instruction.
. . . Education Department officials said they’ve hired two new science teachers for Kaitlin’s school, including one for her grade, who will start this week. In the meantime, Kaitlin was learning, “How to Be a Class Leader,” taught by a substitute teacher in health class, she said.
“To be a neurosurgeon, I need a good science degree and I need good science teachers,” said Kaitlin, whose grandparents drive her from her Ozone Park home to the Brooklyn middle school each morning. “I joined this school to learn about the body and all different kinds of stuff. The first year was great, and there were after-school clubs that dealt with science. But there isn’t any of that this year.”
In New Jersey, teachers are waiting up to nine months for certification paperwork to clear. They’re hired as substitutes at half the normal pay.
Still more ludicrous, these “substitute” teachers could only spend 20 days at a stretch in a single classroom by New Jersey law, so principals who didn’t manage to secure waivers had to swap teachers among classrooms or tell these teachers to stay home for a few days.
Gov. McGreevey has extended the maximum time for substitutes to 50 days, ordered districts to pay teachers their full salaries and told state education officials to clear the backlog.