08/15/2014 12:11 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Are Illinois Teachers Really Qualified in Their Subjects?

The Chicago Tribune recently revealed many Illinois teachers are not credentialed in the subjects they are teaching. Is this because of a shortage of qualified teachers, or are qualified teachers being left on the sidelines as schools hire unqualified teachers?

Tribune reporters Christy Gutowski and Diane Rado have more on the study:

Illinois school districts have employed hundreds of educators to teach everything from science to special education even though they lacked proper credentials in those subjects, a Tribune investigation has found.

In which disciplines do shortages not exist in Illinois? The Tribune put together a chart with data from the Illinois State Board of Education answering that question. We pulled out the ratio of newly licensed teachers to first-timers hired, from the Tribune's full chart from 2009, the most recent year for which information is available.

The findings that so many educators are teaching classes for which they are not qualified makes it appear as if there is a shortage of qualified teachers in those subjects. But as Gustowski and Rado write, "It has occurred even when applicants with the required qualifications were available."

Check out this slideshow of five subject areas and the ratios of newly licensed teachers to first-time hires:

Ratios of newly licensed to first-time hire teachers in Illinois


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