PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Recruiting new teachers was the focus of a town hall discussion on Monday that brought the US education secretary to Temple University.

Last month, the US Education Department launched a public service campaign aimed at getting more people interested in teaching.   At the town hall meeting today, Secretary Arne Duncan outlined the urgency of the issue, as baby boomer teachers hang up their erasers:

“We have about 3.3 million teachers in this country.  We anticipate as many as a million — about a third of the workforce — is going to retire over the next four, five, six years.”

Also taking part was perhaps Philadelphia’s most famous one-year teacher: actor Tony Danza, who taught sophomore English at Northeast High School for his A&E reality show.

Danza says he feels like he deserted his students because he left after one year, but he also believes his time with the kids was worth it:

“I get e-mails from them, you know, like, ‘I decided to take your advice,’ and you feel like you actually made a little bit of a difference.”

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio.

Photo by Mike DeNardo

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