Date of Award

Summer 2008

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Leon Bouvier

Committee Member

William Agyei

Committee Member

Xiushi Yang

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62 M85 2008


In this paper, I outlined research regarding a so-called "crisis" in K-12 education in the United States, which refers to an alleged shortage of teachers that is manifesting and will continue to manifest itself in the near future. I then used a modified version of the cohort component analysis to project the number of teachers needed to project the number of a) students who will be enrolled in public or private K-12 education in the united states, b) teachers needed to maintain the student to teacher ratio in the United States as of the year 2000, 16.0, by benchmark year through the study end date of 2050, and c) the number of teachers who will comprise the teacher population by benchmark year through the 2050 end date. I then used these statistics to determine the rise or fall in student teacher ratio for each benchmark year through the study end date of 2050.

Using my projection model, I determined that after a brief surplus of teachers in 2010, the increased need placed upon the teacher market by the growing number of students in the public and private educational system in the United States will outpace the growth in the number of available teachers in that market, causing a shortage in teachers that will not be resolved by the 2050 end year. I then discussed the phenomenon of women in the teaching profession, and possible implications of this teacher shortage for at risk groups such as English language learners (ELLS), special education students, minority groups, and those with low socioeconomic statuses. Recommendations for future research were also discussed.


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