By Emily YoffeThis article originally appeared in New York magazine, June 2017.
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To get a sense of how difficult it can be to get an English teacher job in America, look no further than a New York Times report published earlier this month.
According to the report, the number of American teachers has dropped from about 6,500 to just 2,500 since 2008, with a similar decline in the number who have a bachelor’s degree.
According the Times, this was the second-lowest percentage of teachers since 2000, with only one-third of the U.S. workforce with a bachelor of arts degree.
The Times found that nearly 60 percent of teachers who were hired from 2008 to 2016 had no experience teaching English in their classroom.
That compares to just under 55 percent of the teachers hired from 1999 to 2009 and 61 percent of those hired from 2003 to 2006.
(There were no data for 2006.)
The Times also found that American schools were having a hard time filling vacancies, with teachers working a total of just 9 percent of full-time positions for the first time since 2000.
(This number was lower in the early 2000s.)
The number of full time teachers dropped from a high of 14 percent of schools in 2000 to a low of 4 percent in 2015.
(The Times notes that the number was up in 2015.)
The report found that the decline in American teachers’ qualifications also led to the hiring of fewer people in the field.
According a 2016 report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, fewer than 20 percent of teaching positions in the U-6, U-7, and U-8 levels were filled in 2016, compared to 35 percent in 2007.
(Teachers are required to have a 4.0 GPA and a 4-year record of teaching.)
In 2017, the percentage of U.K. teachers hired with less than a bachelor degree dropped from 12 percent in 2005 to 4 percent last year.
The percentage of British teachers with less a bachelor was just under 8 percent.
The number that are still teaching in Britain is now about 30 percent.
A New York Post article published on Tuesday also pointed to a decline in applicants, as well as the increasing competition from Chinese applicants, with some schools being less willing to hire Chinese teachers because of the cost of hiring them.
The New York Teacher Certification Board, which oversees New York state’s teacher certification program, has not yet commented on the report.
The NYTSB has a policy of not commenting on specific issues, but spokesperson Katie Wooten told Slate, “As we seek to develop and maintain the best teacher certification and teacher training system, we encourage the American public to participate in our evaluation process.
This evaluation, which is conducted annually, is part of our ongoing evaluation process and we encourage teachers to participate and report their findings to us.”