With the economy headed south, it should probably come as no surprise that teaching has turned into one desirable profession--especially for mid-life career changers who may or may not have been recently laid off. The trend, however, dates further back than Lehman Brothers' implosion. Since 1997, the number of career-changers has steadily increased, after remaining flat at roughly 6,000 per annum for most of the 90s. In 2007 alone, there were approximately 62,000 ex-bankers, scientists, and writers stepping up to the blackboard. Luckily for these folks, Secretary Duncan is fully behind them. "One of the only benefits of living in such tough economic times now is that you have folks getting laid off and looking for work," he explains. "We want to help get them into the classroom." Now, with more money than ever, and the experience of working with Chicago Teaching Fellows under his belt, let's hope he uses his discretionary pot to put his money where his mouth is.

"Interest surges in leaving other jobs for teaching," by Libby Quaid, Associated Press, March 17, 2009

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