Tennessee urges school districts to be involved in teacher prep, releases report

School education pencil tile

NASHVILLE - About 50 percent of Tennessee's 65,000 teachers will retire or leave the profession in the next decade, and state education officials are urging teacher preparation programs and school districts to work together to better prepare new teachers for those jobs.

"It will not be enough to just fill these positions with whoever we have available," Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen told an audience at the Music City Center convention complex Wednesday.

Many of Tennessee's teachers are trained in the state, McQueen said, and school districts and teacher preparation programs need to do a better job of working together to ensure they are prepared to effectively teach all students. Decades of research shows that teachers are the most important in-school factor for boosting students' academic growth.