Opinion: Hundreds of students, oppressive administrators, constant testing: No wonder there’s a teacher shortage

Teacher shortage
Ingrid Villeda teaches fifth grade students on the topic of health at 93rd Street Elementary School in South Los Angeles on November 17, 2016.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: In seven hours, 250 students of varying preparedness, backgrounds and learning styles go through a teacher’s room. This is followed by an hour or two of faculty meetings, staff development and lectures from administrators about meeting the needs of each student. (“California faces a looming teacher shortage, and the problem is getting worse,” Nov. 30)

At least 250 pages of student work accompany the teacher home. At one minute per student, that’s another four hours of correcting papers. 

Does anyone seriously wonder why there is a teacher shortage? Do the math, if you can find a math teacher.

Alexa Smith Maxwell, Los Angeles



To the editor: This is one problem that will not be resolved as long as there is so much overhead in the educational system.

California voters continue to vote for school bonds that build buildings, leading to more administrators deciding what to do with the pot of funds. For example, we build beautiful libraries without books and computers or librarians to assist the students.

The levels of administration in the school districts do nothing to help students and teachers in the classroom. The lack of autonomy in each school throttles innovation and removes the possibility of modifications that could make the educational program reflect the needs of each community. One size does not fit all.


Our lawmakers need to look at ways of providing funds directly to the classroom first. Administrators should use what funds are available after the needs of classrooms are met.

Richard Rorex, Apple Valley

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