Hard-to-staff schools are chronically challenged in their ability to attract and keep teachers with adequate skills and expertise. Studies have shown that on indicators such as teaching experience, certification test pass rates, competitiveness of undergraduate institution and SAT scores, teachers in high poverty schools have lower qualifications than teachers in low-poverty schools.3 The vast majority of these schools: • serve low-income and/or high-minority populations, • are located in geographically isolated or densely populated areas, and/or • are perceived to be unsafe or rife with discipline problems. Simply put, the number of openings in these schools exceeds the number of applicants year after year. Staffing challenges can be specific to one school or they can be districtwide. Sometimes they are acute in certain subjects or credentialed fields, but the areas of concern for this paper, and the related American Federation of Teachers (AFT) resolution, are the staffing challenges in hard-to- staff schools, and helpful solutions to resolving these problems.
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