The Challenge

Why Now?

All students, regardless of background or zip code, deserve effective teachers. These skilled educators mitigate achievement gaps, increase graduation rates, and elevate the performance of their peers. Of all aspects of schooling, teachers have the most influence on student achievement.

Teaching has never been more complicated or more important. And with extraordinary demand for new teachers and the urgent need to close gaps in the teaching workforce, we must address the pipeline now.

Over 60 percent of teachers teach within 20 miles of where they went to high school. Right now — today — in every community, the next generation of educators is sitting on the student side of the desks. We’re all counting on homegrown teachers to be highly skilled, well-prepared professionals and our existing pipeline isn’t doing the job well enough.

The Need Is Staggering

American public schools need to hire around 300,000 new teachers each year. But the pipeline of talented young people opting into teaching is drying up; only four percent of ACT-takers indicate they want to teach. Also, when it comes to preparing teachers for certain subject areas — like STEM, special education, and bilingual education — or recruiting diverse populations into the profession, the existing, incoherent pipeline isn’t cutting it.

  • Only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM career.
  • Approximately 10 percent of special education teachers do not have the required license to teach, and the demand for special educators is growing.
  • The demand for bilingual educators is outpacing that of other teachers due to the continuously increasing number of students who are English language learners.
  • More than half of the American public school student population are students of color, yet more than 80 percent of teachers are white.

The need for highly skilled educators is great. Educators Rising offers a sustainable way for every community to begin growing their own teachers to meet their local workforce demands.