Teacher Shortage In Detroit Public Schools Is A Hoax; Michigan Data Debunks Understaffing Claims

By John Drowne, Parent Herald June 04, 04:30 am

The persistent news about teacher shortage in Detroit public schools is now being considered untrue. Michigan data showed that the understaffing claims in the past years are not true as the teacher-to-student ratio in the city has remained lower than the state average for several years.

Actual Numbers Do Not Support Claims Of Teacher Shortage In Detroit Public Schools

Since 2014, assertions about teacher shortage in Detroit public schools have never died down. These understaffing claims were allegedly due to low morale, heightened job uncertainty, stagnant pay and poor working conditions. This teacher shortage reportedly led to classroom overcrowding and forced other academic staff, particularly instructional specialists and school service assistants, to handle teaching positions.

But the numbers from the state of Michigan's data clearinghouse do not support the teacher shortage claims in Detroit public schools, Michigan Capitol Confidential reports. The data, which was submitted by the Detroit school districts, showed that the city's teacher-to-student ratio has been consistently lower than the state average in the past few years.

Michigan has an average of one teacher for every 16.13 students. Contrary to teacher shortage claims, the state data showed that as of December 15, Detroit public schools had lower teacher-to-student ratio with one teacher for every 14.53 students.

According to the Michigan's Center for Educational Performance and Information, as of December 2015, the number of full-time teaching positions in Detroit public schools has dropped to 3,227 from 4,754 in the 2012-13 school year. But the decline in full-time teaching jobs does not necessarily mean there is a teacher shortage because the number of enrolled students had also plummeted within those years, lowering the teacher-to-student ratio.

Teacher Shortage Claims In Other States

The debunked teacher shortage allegations in Detroit public schools raised questions whether the recent understaffing claims in the public school systems of other states are true. Among the states that reportedly suffered from teacher shortages are South Carolina, California, Georgia and Utah.

Are you convinced that the teacher shortage in Detroit public schools is a hoax? Share your thoughts below.

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