WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Too Many Teachers, Not Enough Jobs

Feb 4, 2013

Illinois faces a teacher problem - not from having too few, but too many.

A new report shows that during the 2010 school year, nearly 10,000 Illinois college grads earned elementary education degrees. But there were just 1,000 job openings.

Credit Rich Egger

The author of the report is Education Week's Stephen Sawchuk, who said  universities are responding by counseling education students. The sessions offer advice and work as a filter.

““We don't have a bar exam for teachers like the way we do in law,” Sawchuk said.

“You probably remember being in college, everybody who was pre-med, a lot of people dropped out when they had to take organic chemistry. There's no sort of equivalent hurdle that you have to pass for teaching.”

Sawchuk acknowledged his report isn't perfect.

Illinois does not track teachers who find jobs in other states, and not every graduate becomes certified.