U.S. Education Suffering From Lack Of ‘Fresh Approaches’, Connecticut Governor Warns

By Kelsey Dentinger
BU News Service

WASHINGTONCalling teachers the “linchpin” of student success and emphasizing the need for education reform and innovation, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy told fellow governors Sunday at the National Governors Association winter meeting that education was suffering from a “lack of new fresh ideas and approaches.”

Malloy, who chairs the NGA’s Education and Workforce Committee, also noted his concern that there is a shortage of science and math teachers.

He said that, in an effort to attract science and math teachers, he has spoken with state university educators about offering joint degrees linking science and math programs to teaching programs. In doing so, he hopes to inspire science and math university graduates to become teachers.

Appearing at the session chaired by Malloy, Bryan Hassel of Public Impact, an educational consulting firm, and Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based think tank, said that because teaching has become a less desirable career path, the diversity and qualifications of teachers are suffering.

Hassel added that even though education spending has risen significantly, teachers’ pay has become “stagnant.” He pointed out that teachers must also deal with an increase in average work hours, growing class diversity, and higher expectations from community and peers, making a teaching career unappealing to many college graduates.

Hess contended that education professionals are not being properly developed as leaders. He noted that many school administrators only have career experience in teaching, and any training they did receive has not prepared them adequately for the roles that an administrator must assume.

Hassel suggested that in order to attract diverse and highly educated individuals to teaching, average annual teacher salaries should be pushed to $100,000 by reallocating funds from other areas of the education budgets.

Hess agreed, saying that teachers should be rewarded for their performance and that top-performing teachers should be consulted when forming education policy.

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