In Michigan, approximately 60,000 certified teachers do not teach in public schools.

REL Midwest conducted a study (6.2.10) that examined these teachers’ reasons for not teaching and the incentive that could motivate them to teach in public schools. The report is posted here.

The study found that salaries and certification related issues, such as difficulties renewing or maintaining certificates, were among the leading reasons for teachers’ not teaching. Incentives related to salaries and certification were also among the top incentives that teachers might like to come back to teaching. The study, however, did not examine these reasons and incentives in depth. For example, the study did not explore what constitutes a desirable salary for attracting certified teaches to public schools or if other financial incentives, such as student loan forgiveness, could be equally attractive. This additional information will be useful to Michigan policymakers who are interested in concrete ways of using the study’s findings to address teacher shortages in the state.

In a new documentary, REL Midwest and Detroit Public Television explore why certified teachers in Michigan aren’t teaching in public schools and what state policymakers and district leaders could do to bring them back in the classroom.

“Teachers Who Aren’t Teaching: Who Are They and How Do We Get Them Back” explores the themes that emerged in the study in further detail and will tell the story of teachers who decided not to teach in public schools. Featuring interviews with research experts, schools and practitioners in Michigan, we’ll examine ongoing efforts to attract and retain teachers in Michigan, and the success and challenges of these efforts.

Before the broadcast premiere you hear the perspectives of district leaders as well as longtime teachers, those teachers who have left the profession and returned, and those who are certified but are no longer teaching in public schools. Join us for a Facebook live event and watch our latest documentary “Teachers who aren’t teaching: Who are they and how do we get them back?”, followed by a live panel discussion. RSVP here.

Featured panelists include:

Natalya Gnedko-Berry – Senior Researcher, American Institutes for Research
Leah Breen – Director of the Office of Educator Excellence, Michigan Department of Education
Rajeshri Bhatia – Founder and Lead Thinker, School Smarts
Ben Pineda – 8th grade social studies teacher, Haslett Middle School

Moderator Maggi Ibis, Research Associate at REL Midwest, will lead the discussion with the panelists – and then will take questions from viewers during the livestream Q&A segment, immediately following the discussion. Join us for this important conversation around issues that affect the future of education in our state.

This program was produced in partnership with REL Midwest.