October 26, 2005
Education's labor market is finally starting to exhibit the flexibility - and churn - common in other sectors of our economy. Population booms in Las Vegas and retirement trends in Chicago have prompted officials to recruit a different breed of teacher. From the plateaus of Spain to the shores of the Philippines, Las Vegas's Clark County School District is making calls and knocking on doors to bring in foreign teachers with relevant subject-matter knowledge - a useful form of off-shoring. Chicago, too, has looked to non-traditional sources for new recruits - namely mid-career-switchers - to fill the void left by the growing baby-boomer retirement. Some defenders of the old-school grumble that "less academic freedom" under "federal reforms" is a contributing factor to early retirement (read: "I'm not allowed to close my door and do whatever I want anymore"); all the more reason to seize this opportunity to attract much-needed new energy into our nation's classrooms.
"Booming Vegas searches far and wide for teachers," by Sam Howe Verhovek, Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2005
"Veteran teachers harder to find," by Diane Rado, Chicago Tribune, October 21, 2005