Lack of support, low salaries, over-testing contribute to high teacher turnover, report says

Two-thirds of teachers who leave the profession are beginning or mid-career educators who are walking away from the job for reasons other than retirement, according to a report released this week. The report from the Learning Policy Institute says common reasons for teachers leaving the profession include a lack of administrative support, low salaries, testing and accountability pressures, lack of opportunities for advancement, and poor working conditions.

The report says turnover rates are lowest in the Northeast, where states tend to offer higher pay, support smaller class sizes, and make greater investments in education. They are highest in the South. Shortages also persist in specific areas: mathematics, science, special education, English language development, and foreign languages. In addition, turnover rates are 50% higher in Title I schools, which serve more low-income students.

Teacher attrition in the United States is about twice as high as in high-achieving jurisdictions like Finland, Singapore, and Ontario, Canada, it says.

To stem teacher turnover, the Learning Policy Institute says, “federal, state, and district policymakers should consider improving the key factors associated with turnover: compensation, teacher preparation and support, and teaching conditions.”

The report says:

Addressing early attrition is critical to stemming the country’s continuing teacher shortage crisis. It is also important for school effectiveness. The cost of attrition to student learning and district budgets is significant. Teachers are the number one in-school influence on student achievement. Research finds that high rates of turnover harm student achievement. In high-turnover schools, the inexperienced and underqualified teachers often hired to fill empty spots also have a negative impact on student learning.

Read the entire report:

Teacher Turnover: Why It Matters and What We Can Do About It

This new study looks at who is leaving, why, who is impacted, and policy considerations.

Read more from edsource.org:

Don’t slam the desk on the way out. If fewer teachers quit, the shortage would end

Credit: Tue Nam Ton for EdSource Teachers in America are dropping out, leaving the profession at twice the rate of teachers in high-achieving school systems like those in Finland and Ontario, Canada. And they’re departing in large part because their principals do not support them, according to a report released Tuesday.