CINCINNATI — A new report says the schools across the U.S. would need $700 billion to make up for academic setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What You Need To Know

  • Cincinnati Public Schools and Miami University are expanding the TEACh Cincinnati program

  • The program provides academic, social and financial support for students interested in pursing a career in teaching

  • TEACh Cincinnati also aims to address the teacher shortage and increase diversity among educators

The study, published this month in Educational Researcher, points to remote learning and the loss of resources as the reasons for the decline in student achievement. It's backed up by the recent national school report card that showed declines in reading and math scores among Ohio students.

A critical aspect of the loss of resources centers on the teacher shortage in Ohio and across the country.

Five years ago, Teri’ana Joyner joined Cincinnati Public Schools and  Miami University’s TEACh Cincinnati program. It provides academic, social and financial support for students interested in pursuing a career in teaching.

“There’s also a shortage in teachers that look like me — Black teachers,” she said. “So being in the program made me want to become a teacher more.”

The purpose of the TEACh program is not only to address the critical teacher shortage, but also to increase diversity among educators. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that only 5% of Ohio teachers are Black. 

The program allowed Joyner to learn from more teachers who look like her, helping inspire her to study education. She said she believes it will also help so many others.

“Because students aren’t seeing themselves, they’re not inspired to do more,” said Joyner. “And so I want to be a person like I was one of those students that wasn’t inspired to do a whole bunch. And whenever I see myself, I push myself to do better.”

Joyner is one 20 students in the program and is among seven students in it to graduate from Aiken High School. She started as an eighth grader – and now she’s a freshman at Miami University, benefiting from the full scholarship that she and four peers all received. The seven of them are also guaranteed jobs within CPS once they graduate.

“Making sure that we have quality educators for our students; recognize that one of the ways that we do that is by having our pipeline programs,” said Iranetta Wright, CPS superintendent. 

Wright believes this program is just one of the ways to help solve the teacher shortage. As they expand the program, students will have the opportunity to complete College Credit Plus courses in addition to earning the scholarship from Miami University. The program is expected to be included in the other CPS high schools within five years.

“We’re finding those students that have a light for educating, we’re finding those students that really want to give back in a way that others may not always want to do,” she said. 

Joyner said it’s made her feel more prepared to pursue her dreams as an educator. And she looks forward to coming back home to pay it forward.

“I’m thinking about coming back to Aiken, but I want to go to a school in CPS just to give back to my community that gave to me,” said Joyner.