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The purpose of this study was to describe the supply and potential shortages of science teachers in the United States. Ninety-six percent of the State Science Consultants of the 50 State Boards of Education responded to a 1992 survey to assess the supply of science teachers. This survey was modeled after Howe and Gerlovich's 1982 study to provide an assessment of changes in science teacher supply over the last 10 years. Although there were improvements in the supply of science teachers, shortages were reported in all science subjects and were particularly critical in physics, chemistry, and earth science. In addition to providing a needed update on science teacher supply, this study analyzed 45 previous studies of science teacher supply and found convincing evidence to support the hypothesis that there is a persistent but fluctuating long term shortage of science teachers. This shortage is attributed to competition with business and industry. To alleviate critical shortages of science teachers, it is recommended that salaries be raised to be more competitive with industry and a national database be established to facilitate monitoring the supply of science teachers.
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