What is the purpose of the Task Force for Advancing Teachers and School Leaders in the State of Wisconsin?

Last December, the UW System Board of Regents asked the UW System Office of Academic and Student Affairs to create a task force to recommend financial incentive programs to: reduce student loan debt, improve affordability, address teacher workforce shortages in Wisconsin, and increase access, enrollment, and graduation from teacher education and school leadership programs at UW Colleges and Schools of Education.

The task force will also focus attention on understanding the concerns of communities, district administrators, school leaders, teachers, students, and parents, while also seeking to raise public esteem for teachers and school leaders in Wisconsin.

Is there a problem you’re trying to solve?

The problem that we seek to solve is twofold, and has occurred over the past decade:

  1. UW System Schools and Colleges of Education have experienced a significant decrease in student enrollment in teacher education programs, as well as teacher certification and school leadership programs, and
  2. The supply of qualified teachers and school leaders in Wisconsin does not meet current demand, as measured by a statistically significant:
    • Increase in emergency certification of teachers within Wisconsin school districts;
    • Drop-off in qualified applicants for open teaching positions across all school districts;
    • Increase in out-migration of graduates from UW System Schools/Colleges of Education to states other than Wisconsin; and
    • Increase in demand for teachers in high need school districts, especially in rural and urban districts, and especially in fields such as special education, bilingual education, math, science, and information technology.

What specific questions will the Task Force address?

The Task Force will address two specific questions:

  1. How can the UW System work collaboratively with key stakeholders to develop financial incentive programs for students to: improve affordability, reduce student loan debt, address teacher workforce shortages in Wisconsin, and increase access, enrollment, and graduation from teacher education and administrative leadership programs at UW Colleges and Schools of Education?
  2. How can the UW System engage with key stakeholders to understand their concerns, and to consider how to raise public esteem for teachers and school leaders in Wisconsin?

How can I help?

That’s exactly what the task force seeks—your help! The task force has scheduled three public listening sessions, which you may attend in person, by teleconference, or by webinar. The task force has also developed this webpage, at which you may submit comments or upload documents.

This way, members of the task force can listen and understand the concerns of key stakeholders, and especially consider how to raise public esteem for teachers and school leaders in Wisconsin.

When will we hear your recommendations?

Our task force will present recommendations to the UW System Board of Regents during its meeting on July 12, 2019 at UW-Milwaukee.