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Yes, Teacher Turnover Can Be a Problem. But New Federal Data Show It’s Far From a National Crisis

Education Next – Chad Aldeman

“We know that teacher turnover has risen over the past 30 years by a couple of percentage points. We also know that teacher churn is harmful to students, and that replacing a single teacher costs districts thousands of dollars. These facts can lead to the perception that teacher turnover is really high, and that it’s always a problem. The nuance is much more interesting, though, and it presents a far different story than just “teacher turnover is bad” or “teacher turnover is fine.” First, as shown in the JOLTS data, public schools have much lower rates of job openings, hire rates, quit rates, and voluntary and involuntary separations than every industry except the federal government.” (more)

Taking on teacher attrition

E-School News – Hilary Scharton

“We once believed that teacher effectiveness dramatically increased for the first three to five years on the job and then plateaued. But recent research suggests that substantial growth in effectiveness can be seen for the first 12 years on the job, and likely longer. This suggests that teacher quality develops over time and that experience can influence effectiveness. We also know that students who have highly effective teachers for three years in a row can score 50 percentile points higher on achievement tests than students who have less effective teachers three years in a row.” (more)

Superintendents grapple with finding stellar teachers

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“Concerns around finding highly-qualified teachers and principals plague today’s district superintendents, according to a new Gallup poll. Two-thirds of district superintendents in a new survey said the quantity of new teacher candidates is decreasing, and 43 percent said new principal candidates are decreasing. Participating district superintendents tended to rate their districts as less effective at recruiting talented teachers and principals than they are at selecting, developing and retaining them, according to the poll.”(more)

What Can We Do About Teacher Turnover?

Edutopia – Desiree Carver-Thomas and Linda Darling-Hammond

“As students started a new school year this fall, far too many were greeted by substitute teachers and others who were unprepared for their jobs, as teacher shortages continue to hinder the ability of districts to find fully prepared teachers to fill all of their classrooms. This year, more than 100,000 classrooms in the U.S. are being staffed by instructors who are uncertified for their assignments and lack the content background and training to teach their classes. These classrooms are disproportionately in schools serving mostly students from low-income families and students of color. In some key subjects, like math, science, and special education, districts of every type and in nearly every state have been hit.”(more)

How D.C. Schools Are Revolutionizing Teaching

Education Next – Thomas Toch

“Eric Christopher is the kind of young, gifted, committed teacher that any principal would want to hire. A straight-A student from a public high school on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, he gave up a chance for an Ivy League education to take care of his sick mother and attend nearby Washington College, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 2006. He spent the next seven years at a public elementary school near his hometown, teaching the Spanish-speaking children of agricultural and poultry workers while earning a master’s degree in bilingual education. But opportunities to advance were mostly based on teacher seniority, the pay was low, and he was eager for a fresh challenge in a new environment. So, in 2013, he moved to the big city—Washington, D.C.”(more)

To develop teachers, look to other teachers

Education Dive – Autumn A. Arnett

“Researchers from Michigan State University this week presented the findings of a study that indicated half of early career teachers leave their schools by their fifth year, and one in four leave the profession altogether. Part of this can be attributed to a perceived lack of support by their principals, but another part is due to a lack of support and personal development that encourages persistence.”(more)