Breaking the cycle of teacher shortages: What kind of policies can make a difference?


  • Linda Darling-Hammond Learning Policy Institute
  • Anne Podolsky Learnign Policy Institute



teacher shortages, teacher supply, teacher demand, attrition, teacher quality


Teacher shortages have recurred in the United States over many decades. This article introduces a special issue of EPAA that seeks to better understand the factors that contribute to the insufficient supply and inequitable distribution of qualified teachers, as well as the recurrences of teacher shortages. Together, the six articles in this issue help provide an empirical understanding of the current state of the supply, demand, and distribution of America’s public school teachers. This lead article provides an overview of the current status of teaching in the U.S. and outlines the volume’s findings about the key contributors to teacher supply, demand, and shortages of qualified teachers; the subject areas and locations in need of teachers; the determinants of high turnover for particular types of teachers; promising policies to recruit and keep teachers; and states’ attention to these policies. We hope the findings from this volume enable a better understanding of the obstacles and solutions to providing all students with high-quality teachers.


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Author Biographies

Linda Darling-Hammond, Learning Policy Institute

Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond is President of the Learning Policy Institute and Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University. She has conducted extensive research on issues of educator supply, demand, and quality. Among her award-winning publications in this area are What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future; Teaching as the Learning Profession; Powerful Teacher Education; and Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do.

Anne Podolsky, Learnign Policy Institute

Anne Podolsky is a Researcher and Policy Analyst at the Learning Policy Institute. Her research focuses on improving educational opportunities and outcomes, especially for students from underserved communities.




How to Cite

Darling-Hammond, L., & Podolsky, A. (2019). Breaking the cycle of teacher shortages: What kind of policies can make a difference?. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 27, 34.



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