UW–Madison’s Christopher Saldaña, a new assistant professor in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, is the host of a podcast from the National Education Policy Center (NEPC).
The podcast, “NEPC Talks Education,” is described as “30 minutes of high-quality policy information for educators, community members, policymakers, and anyone interested in education.”
In the first episode of Season 3, released on Sept. 20, Saldaña interviews Richard Ingersoll, a professor of education and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, and Tuan Nguyen, an assistant professor in the College of Education at Kansas State University, about teacher shortages.
Ingersoll and Nguyen each offer recommendations for policymakers and stakeholders to consider in addressing the shortages. Ingersoll’s research has shown that teacher turnover and retention are closely tied to the working conditions in schools. Especially important is the amount of “voice” teachers have into key decisions in their schools. He recommends policymakers and district leaders incorporate teachers’ input into the decision-making process to improve retention. Moreover, he says, teachers have valuable insights to offer, and policy changes would be better informed if they considered the experiences of educators.
Nguyen proposes the creation of a national teacher vacancy database. He argues this would go a long way in helping researchers diagnose where teacher shortages are worst and avoid crafting blanket policy solutions that fail to allocate most resources to districts with the greatest needs. Both scholars also emphasize the role of respect and compensation in determining prospective teachers’ decisions to enter the profession and in-service teachers’ decisions to remain.
New episodes of “NEPC Talks Education” are released monthly from September through May. All episodes are archived on the NEPC website.