Strategies for Estimating Teacher Supply and Demand Using Student and Teacher Data

Alexander Berg-Jacobson

Every year the U.S. Department of Education reports for each state in the country the grade levels, subject areas, and geographic areas that have experienced teacher shortages. States are required to report shortages to the U.S. Department of Education each year to qualify for federal programs that allow states to offer teachers incentives, such as loan deferment, loan cancelation, and scholarships, to teach in shortage areas.

By law the Minnesota Department of Education must conduct a multimethod teacher supply and demand study every two years. Many education stakeholders in Minnesota called for a redesign of the study to change it from an unfocused compilation of summaries of data analyses to a report that answered explicit research questions. This report describes the steps in more detail, emphasizing the methods for addressing each research question.

Minnesota members of the Midwest Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance partnered with a technical assistance team from Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest to redesign Minnesota’s teacher supply and demand study to enhance its utility for stakeholders. Because many data elements used for the study are common across states, this report may help researchers in other states or school districts study teacher staffing patterns in their jurisdictions.