Like confronting the tax burden after winning the lottery—some problems are better to have than others.

Right now, the school field has a situation a little like that, a challenge inextricably bound up with the current run of national prosperity. Here's the bittersweet challenge facing schools from Millinocket, Me., to Coronado, Calif.: How to find sufficient human resources in a shriveled employment market.

The shortage of skilled workers now afflicting the school field throbs like a particularly painful toothache, precisely because it comes at just the moment when the need and the means to succeed have swung into a rare, rough...

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