US education secretary visits Tennessee State University to highlight solutions to teacher shortages

Nashville, Tennessee (WKRN) – U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona was in Tennessee on Friday to discuss the state’s and the nation’s educational needs.

He met with a group at the University of Tennessee to highlight the school’s attempt to increase the number of teachers through their “Grow Your Own” (GYO) program, designed to address teacher shortages.

Due to the shortage of teachers, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister of Education is exploring ways to help address the problem.

“How has the pandemic affected your plans to get to class?” Cardona asked a roundtable of students, faculty, and faculty.

The GYO University Teachers Initiative “addresses the shortage of teachers by building partnerships between TSU and local school districts and other educational agencies to strengthen and grow the diverse qualified teachers in Tennessee”.

“We’ve heard that students of your Grow Yourself program say that their opportunities are not only growing, but the trajectory for their families will improve because of the innovative thinking at this university,” he said.

With more than 2,000 teacher vacancies across the state, Cardona says educators should be brought to the table.

“The pandemic is forcing us to stop and understand what we need to do better. We need to make sure that teachers do not work on three jobs to make ends meet, ”Cardona said. “We need to make sure that working conditions are conducive to their professional and personal growth, and we need to make sure that our teachers take a seat at the table when we talk about how to rethink schools.”

One student in the program sees its impact as an opportunity to make public school classes more representative.

“More black male teachers in the school system and even in the classroom will encourage students to do more in their community, it will encourage them that no matter where you come from, no matter your background, no matter what, you can still be wonderful “- said Treveon Hayes, who is engaged in primary education.

Secretary Cardona added that he seeks to use current and possibly future education funding to create programs similar to those TSU has across the country.


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