In the midst of a historic challenge, the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) is forming a task force to identify and recommend successful strategies for curbing the statewide teacher shortage crisis.
Over the course of a year, the OSDE Teacher Shortage Task Force will research methods to stem the crisis and test them for how they can benefit schools and students. A list of potential strategies is expected to be completed in early 2016, with a final report available that fall.
Members of the task force will represent a wide variety of perspectives. Legislators, OSDE staff, leaders of business and industry, teacher organizations, education advocacy groups and other stakeholders have been invited to participate.
Dr. Robyn Miller, deputy superintendent for educator effectiveness and policy research at OSDE, is coordinating formation of the task force. She said she is excited to bring together a diverse group of Oklahomans to establish proven recommendations for legislation, policy and procedure at the state, regional, local and school levels.
“As we strive to address the state’s severe teacher shortage, we are hopeful that the interest of so many in our community will help us champion for solutions to meet this immediate challenge,” Miller said.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said the task force can play a significant role in addressing the crisis.
“Oklahoma’s critical teacher shortage is well documented. It’s time to stop talking about the problem alone and start offering real solutions,” Hofmeister said. “By applying their own knowledge, researching successful strategies and assessing the effectiveness of proposed solutions in action, the volunteers on this task force undoubtedly will help create the high-quality classrooms our schoolchildren deserve.”