• April 8th Legislator Discussion: Teacher Shortage

  • Solving the Teacher Shortage, once and for all!


    Subject Matter Experts

               Mr. Richard Condit, President, Economic Independence, LLC

    Dr. Marjaneh Gilpatrick, Ed.D., Associate Dean, College of Education, Grand Canyon University

               Dr. Paul Stanton, Ed.D., Superintendent, Washington Elementary School District

    Mr. Justin Wing, Executive Director of Human Services, Washington Elementary School District


  • Follow-up Information

    For information on GCU’s L.E.A.P. Program click here

    Yuma Elementary School District #1:  Troops to Teachers is the program Superintendent Sheldahl mentioned.

    Paid Student Teacher article with WESD and GCU click here.    (abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/central-phoenix/grand-canyon-university-intern-program-filling-valley-teacher-vacancies)

    Dr. Richard Ingersoll, Ph.D.  You can easily find him via a Google search.  He has several videos on YouTube. Here is a brief bio. 

    Dr. Matthew Clifford, Ph.D., principal researcher, American Institutes for Research (AIR).  Click here for a brief bio.

    If you would like a tour of the GCU campus, contact Dr. Jennifer Johnson, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President for Academic Alliances, GCU at her email: Jennifer.johnson@gcu.edu

    If you would like a copy of the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association (ASPAA) Survey, please contact Karen at ABEC (karen@azbec.org).


  • CHAT Highlights

    ISSUES: Teacher Retention

    • We can't solve the teacher shortage without addressing teacher retention. I hope the community has gained an appreciation for the sincere, skilled efforts of current teachers through the pandemic.
    • Effective leadership is definitely a factor in teacher retention!  Accordingly, several states, including Arizona through ADE, are increasing their attention to training the supervisors of principals (normally a LEA-level admin) to increase principal capacity in this area.
    • Many districts have repurposed positions to provide "admin coaches" to support principals. As was mentioned, principal leadership is very important to the success of staff.
    • Salary continues to be an element in teacher retention. However, we don’t want to underestimate the impact of a quality induction and mentoring program. The Arizona K12 Center, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Education, will be hosting Arizona’s First Annual Induction Symposium January 12-13, 2022. It will be geared to district and school leaders to learn more about induction and mentoring that works. We know the strong role quality induction and mentoring plays in teacher retention. Dr. Richard Ingersoll will be the primary keynote and facilitator on the first day.  Dr. Ingersoll is working with ADE and the presentation will be around AZ data points. There will be a survey coming out soon as well.
    • The Arizona K12 Center has an amazing induction program that includes mentoring. The Arizona Teachers Academy provides every Academy graduate one year of induction support. Each state university determines what that induction support looks like.
    • Thank you, Kathy Wiebke  Your efforts (at the AZ K12 Center) have been so impactful and have resulted in Master Teachers that are continually demonstrating long term value and leadership in Arizona classrooms!
    • ADE is working with Matthew Clifford of AIR on a program for principal supervisors to work with principals in the area of instructional coaching. Of course there are other options out there for LEAs to choose.
    • It's critical that new teachers have plenty of support and mentoring in their first few years!
    • Research and current practice point to increasing the capacity of building principals to deliver high-quality instructional feedback and coaching. Title II monies can be used (I know: those dollars only spend once). This does not require legislative permission or the printing of vast sums in the basement.  This strategy positively impacts teacher retention but admittedly does not immediately impact recruitment.


    ISSUES: Recruitment:

    • We have barriers to entry into our profession.
    • We have the opportunity right now to turn the tide and change the narrative around the value of teachers in Arizona.
    • Market the value of teachers statewide! 
    • We need a "Got Milk" campaign for teachers.


    ISSUES: Teacher Salaries and valuing the profession

    • Teacher pay is always the elephant in the room.  Would like to hear panel address the effects of 20x20 and other efforts  to raise teacher pay.
    • A few years ago Tucson Values Teachers held a major conference on teacher retention - Dr. Ingersoll is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on teacher recruitment and retention.  While much of the data pointed to other factors that led to teachers leaving the profession (respect, working conditions, administrative support, etc.) without fair and sufficient salaries, the rest of the strategy for retention loses strength.  We cannot simply accept that poor salaries are part of the professional educator culture.
    • Resources are important, and cannot be understated as a continuing, long term process to re-establish the teaching profession as being rewarded commensurate with the skills, the expectations and the challenges of the job.  And, not to mention, just plain respect for one of the most critical functions performed in our society.
    • Ingersoll identifies Arizona as one of the few states where the salaries are so low that they are the primary lever out of the profession.
    • The value placed on teachers can't be rhetorical. How is Arizona backing up its sense of the value the state places on teachers? What would you point to as the currency of that value?
    • I feel that the pandemic has heightened everyone's awareness of the critical role of teachers. They are essential professionals...At the beginning of the pandemic many celebrities were advocating for teachers earning 6 or 7 figure incomes.
    • Beyond bond/override elections, how should the community demonstrate its support for educators?


    ISSUES: Need supports so teachers can teach!

    • We as a society need to help families with wrap-around supports.  Helping them connect to networks that many of us have access to with a simple phone call.
    • Lack of community support is one of the top reasons why teachers leave the profession prematurely.
    • It shouldn’t be the responsibility of the teachers or the schools.  These support services need to be front and center.  If the government is to provide then let us be transparent with the funding and revenues sources.  This is society problem that is not just in Arizona but national.  Why not fund through something other than the schools.  That way the schools can focus on education - reading, writing, communication and skills needed after 12th grade.



    • Let’s not forget that it all starts with access to high-quality early childhood education.


    COMMENTS on today’s program

    • Great program. Thanks all!
    • Thank you so much!  This program was the highlight of my week!
    • This has been a great discussion. Credit to the panelists, all of whom are dialed in on this topic.
    • Excellent points, Richard!
    • Thank you, Mr. Condit. Well said!
    • Very impressed with the panelists and attendees, judging from the names I've seen in the chat. Thanks to ABEC for putting this on.



    • Dr. Gilpatrick, you made GCU a phenomenal experience for me. Thank you! You will always be remembered for all the empathy and expertise you shared with us. I graduated in 2013, with my Masters in Special Education.
    • Student Equity: From Rep. Pawlik:  To that point, Dick, my class of pre-service teachers at NAU this past fall was very diverse! From  Dick Foreman  to  All panelists : Rep. Pawlik, that is SO good to hear.  We’ve partnered with NAU on a number of programs and I know they are very committed to this.  So good to hear!


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