Data Tool

Return to Toolkit



Educatior Shortages User Guide

The Analyzing Special Education Teacher Shortages: Data Tool for Practitioners supports states, regions, districts, and educator preparation programs (EPPs) in identifying and visualizing the development of special education teacher shortages across the entire educator career continuum, from entry into EPPs to entering the classroom to becoming an experienced educator.

State education agencies, regional education agencies, districts, and educator preparation programs can use the data tool to do the following:

  • Analyze patterns in the development of special education teacher shortages at the state, district, school, and EPP levels.
  • Identify crucial points along the educator career continuum where implementing carefully selected strategies can help mitigate special education teacher shortages.
  • Promote collaborative, cross-partner conversations about special education teacher shortages that will lead to identifying data sources, examining root causes, and selecting comprehensive educator talent management strategies to address the root causes of shortages.

The Data Tool is composed of an Excel-based workbook with an accompanying User Guide.


Excel Icon

How to Use the Data Tool

Users enter their own data directly into the Excel workbook, which automatically generates easy-to-understand graphs and charts that visualize shortages across the educator career continuum. The GTL Center expressly designed the workbook to be fast, responsive, and easy to understand, regardless of a user’s skill level in working with data or spreadsheets. The accompanying User Guide provides examples and helpful tips for working with the Excel workbook.

The Data Tool should be a first step for users in a longer, data-rich conversation about shortages and ways to address them. For example, if the Data Tool reveals that special education teacher retention drops markedly between the third and fifth years of teaching, teams should identify other sources of data such as surveys, exit interviews, etc. to discover the circumstances and reasoning for that data point.