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The Truth About New Teacher Attrition


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Turnover is a serious concern for the K-12 community, especially when teachers quit after just a few years in the classroom. See what the newest data say about the impacts of new teacher attrition and learn what schools can do to reduce turnover and support their greenest educators.

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The Truth About New Teacher Attrition

  1. 1. Sources: 1 Gray, L., and Taie, S. (2015). Public School Teacher Attrition and Mobility in the First Five Years: Results From the First Through Fifth Waves of the 2007–08 Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study (NCES 2015-337). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. 2 Ingersoll, R. (2003). Is There Really a Teacher Shortage? 3 Baldacci, Leslie. (2006) Why New Teachers Leave… American Federation of Teachers. American Educator. 4 Ingersoll, R., and Merrill, L. (2017). A Quarter Century of Changes in the Elementary and Secondary Teaching Force: From 1987 to 2012. Statistical Analysis Report (NCES 2017-092). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. 5 Snyder, T.D., de Brey, C., and Dillow, S.A. (2016). Digest of Education Statistics 2015 (NCES 2016-014). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Educa- tion Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC. 6 Ingersoll, Richard M. “Beginning Teacher Induction: What the Data Tell Us.” Education Week, 16 May 2012. 7 National Center for Education Statistics. 2011-2012 Schools and Staffing Survey. Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC. 8 Carver-Thomas, D. Darling-Hammond, L. (2017). Teacher turnover: Why it matters and what we can do about it. Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute. 9 Chetty, Raj, John N. Friedman, and Jonah E. Rockoff. 2014. “Measuring the Impacts of Teachers II: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood.” American Economic Review, 104(9): 2633-79. 10 Kini, Tara and Podolsky, Anne. (2016). Does Teaching Experience Increase Teacher Effectiveness? A Review of the Research. Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute. 11 Ladd, Helen F., Sorensen, Lucy C. (2015) Returns to Teacher Experience: Student Achievement and Motivation in Middle School. 12 Smith, T. M., Ingersoll, R. (2004). What Are the Effects of Induction and Mentoring on Beginning Teacher Turnover? A new study offers some good news for administrators as they prepare to hire the next class of first-year teachers. The Newest Data The Good News Fewer than two in ten new teachers will leave the profession in their first five years.1 Previous research estimated 40-50% of beginning teachers quit within that time, but that data was also acknowledged as a “rough approximation.”2 of teachers quit after just one year in the classroom.1 10% While it’s refreshing that most new teachers are sticking with their profession for longer than a year, a revolving door of new hires and less experienced teachers can still have a negative impact on schools AND students. Why New Teachers Leave Teacher Education and Attrition Nearly 1 in 6 enter through an alternative certification program.7 The Cost To … Students Schools Districts $50,000 lessin projected lifetime earnings for students who spend just one year taught by a less effective teacher.9 Disruptionto school stability, collegial relationships, and accumulation of institutional knowledge. Increased financialcosts related to separation, recruitment, hiring, and training. Why It Matters Teachers continue to improve over the course of their careers10 and greater experience is linked to: Higher test scores Reduced student absenteeism Improved student behavior11 What Schools Can Do Be proactive Well-implemented induction programs and mentorship for first-year teachers increase job satisfaction, efficacy, and retention.1, 12 Identify areas for development A significant number of public school teachers report being underprepared or only somewhat prepared for many practical elements of teaching their first year. Classroom management or discipline situations Differentiating instruction in the classroom Use of assessments to inform instruction Use of computers in the classroom Student assessment7 42% 33% 45% 33% 47% The majority of turnover is voluntary 1 At Jossey-Bass, we strive to offer the best thinking, research, and practical guidance on key issues in education to drive improvement in schools and better outcomes for all students. Explore our professional learning resources for K-12 educators. GET STARTED The Truth About New Teacher Attrition and new teachers cite a variety of reasons for leaving, including: Classroom resources Professional growth opportunities Collaboration time School leadership Student behavior3 1988 2018, projected 2.6 million 3.6 million Years of experience for the most common teacher6 15 Public and Private K-12 Teachers5 1 The Teaching Force: Bigger Greener The number of teaching professionals has increased more than two times the rate of student enrollment since the 1980s.4 HELLO I’m New The Bad News EXIT Key Takeaway PROBLEMS WITH 1988 2008 Those educators are 25% more likely to leave the profession compared to teachers who enter through traditional programs.8 Research shows that when schools provide meaningful coaching, collaboration, and development opportunities, new teachers are significantly more likely to stay in the classroom. See the five common characteristics of successful teacher development programs. 25%