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war on teachers?
December 12, 2017
When union protections disappear, poor schools lose teachers, new research finds
Michigan's teacher-focused policy changes did not increase in teacher turnover. But at schools with lower test scores or more students in poverty, teacher churn jumped.
November 2, 2017
40 percent of teachers were gone from struggling New York City schools after two years, union data show
The teacher-turnover rate among schools in the "Renewal" program was far higher than the city's 23-percent average during the same period.
Ending the churn
October 19, 2017
A splintered system and lack of teachers have created instability for Detroit schools. Now, leaders are craving solutions.
Liberal school choice laws, a decentralized school system and a shrinking pool of available teachers have so destabilized the teacher labor force that many school leaders say they’re constantly looking for new educators to hire
December 20, 2016
To hire and keep good teachers as housing costs rise, Colorado school districts take on new role: landlord
With housing costs on the rise across Colorado, several school districts are creating subsidized employee housing as part of a strategy to recruit and retain teachers.
November 17, 2016
How a Nashville charter group is changing to keep its teachers for the long haul
RePublic Schools adopts family-friendly staffing policies that include shorter school days and a child care spending credit.
August 8, 2016
Teacher hiring tracker: Still 100 positions to fill on the first day of school in Memphis
About 100 Shelby County Schools classrooms still lack permanent teachers, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said Monday, the first day of school.
August 24, 2015
To keep top teachers, principals of struggling schools offer bigger paychecks
City officials won't yet release hiring data for the $4.9 million leadership program, but people at Renewal schools say it's working, with some limitations.
May 28, 2015
More Colorado teachers left their school districts last year
Teacher turnover rates crept up in Colorado districts this year. How did your district fare?
maintaining the spotlight
April 6, 2015
Success Academy: A guide to the city’s largest, most controversial charter-school network
There has been an ongoing fascination with the city’s largest and most polarizing charter school network as it grows in size and in scope within the education landscape.
Raising the Issue
March 13, 2014
As union negotiates new contract, leader says teachers seek better pay
As the head of the teachers union negotiates a new contract with the city, he started to make a public case Wednesday for higher teacher pay.
July 30, 2012
Report: Districts can do more to retain their strongest teachers
In New York City — "District D" — there was virtually no difference in turnover rates based on teacher performance. Getting rid of weak teachers doesn't always require massive policy changes. Sometimes all it takes is a nudge, a new study on teacher turnover suggests. When New York City principals told low-rated teachers that they were deficient, the teachers were three times more likely to leave the school, according to the study, released today by TNTP, a group that advocates for aggressive changes to hiring and firing practices in public schools. Convincing the best teachers to stay is just as easy as counseling the weak ones out, the study suggests. Top-rated teachers said they were more likely to stay if their principals gave them more constructive feedback and more public recognition for their efforts, but two-thirds of them reported that their principals did not even encourage them to return to their school. The study is a follow-up to TNTP's 2009 influential "Widget Effect" report, which urged school districts to revamp teacher evaluations. In the new report, the group focuses on how districts can hold on to teachers determined to be the best. Districts don't make a special effort to keep those teachers, termed "Irreplaceables" in the report, and when they leave, schools are highly unlikely to hire teachers who are anywhere near as strong, the report concludes. Some of the report's findings represent low-cost, easy-to-implement alternatives to some of the other policies TNTP has pushed, including firing teachers who don't have permanent positions and doing away with seniority-based layoffs.
November 4, 2011
Study: High teacher turnover could trouble middle school reform
More than half of teachers in city middle schools left their schools within three years, and most left teaching altogether, according to a new study that offers little insight about how to stem the exodus. The study was presented yesterday at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management's fall meeting, as part of a panel on teacher turnover. Will Marinell, a member of the Research Alliance, the independent body of researchers given access to city Department of Education data, and Teachers College professor Aaron Pallas conducted the analysis. Mining data about teachers and their paths within the school system, the researchers found that 55 percent of middle school teachers leave their school within three years, higher than in elementary and high schools. They also found that their decision to leave was likely influenced more by their individual characteristics, such as their commute time and race, than by anything about their school. According to the analysis, teachers are more likely to stay in their schools when students disproportionately share their race. In Manhattan, two-thirds of middle school teachers left within three years, the highest exit rate of any borough. Middle school teachers are more likely to consider leaving their school when they have a long commute or are required to teach a new subject. And teachers in schools that suspend many students are more likely to consider finding a new job. "These rates of turnover are likely to make it challenging for middle school principals, and the teachers who remain in their schools, to establish organizational norms and a shared vision for their schools' teaching and learning environment," the study concludes.
April 4, 2011
A struggling KIPP school plans to overhaul teaching staff
After wrestling down a unionization attempt and struggling with academic performance, a Brooklyn KIPP school is bringing in a new principal and letting go of teachers. Concerns about high teacher turnover surfaced at the KIPP AMP (Knowledge is Power Program: Always Mentally Prepared) school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, two years. The concerns were the driving force behind teachers' decision to join the teachers union against the will of the school's board. A year later teachers opted out of union membership, kicking off a prolonged fight in which the United Federation of Teachers accused KIPP of intimidating teachers who wanted to unionize. Now, the school could experience what teachers initially feared: turnover and instability. It's unclear how many teachers will lose their jobs. A teacher at the school said today that the school's leadership has informed most of its teachers that they will not have jobs next year. KIPP co-founder David Levin, who is also the superintendent of KIPP's New York schools, said that claims that the majority of KIPP AMP teachers would lose their jobs were incorrect. He would not say how many staff members had been asked to leave the school.
March 8, 2011
Turnover ideas from a teacher whose colleagues keep leaving
Is teacher turnover the greatest challenge facing schools? Some don’t think so, but in the Community section today, Stephen Lazar kicks off a three-part…
January 28, 2011
Black on city history, teacher turnover, and school closures
Chancellor Cathie Black showed what she has learned and what she hasn't in her first month on the job on NY1 last night. Chancellor Cathie Black's interview on Inside City Hall last night is worth watching in full. The interview exposes just how much Black has been able to absorb in her first month on the job — and how much she hasn't. In a moment first highlighted by NY1 education reporter Lindsey Christ on Twitter, Black declared, "The public school system in New York City has been unbelievably successful since the birth of our nation." She was responding to a question from host Errol Louis about why she chose to send her children to private rather than public city schools. Black did not elaborate, but the statement is confusing given that public schools in New York City did not emerge until the early 1800s. Another moment of exposure had to do with teacher attrition. After a discussion about the "last in, first out" policy, Louis asked Black if she was concerned that almost half of New York City school teachers leave after 6 years in the classroom (PDF link). Here's how Black responded: Well you have to know, like, what's really at the heart of the issue. I don't know that we know what's really at the heart of the issue. Teaching is a hard job. We want the ones who are committed. We want the ones who make a difference. We want the ones who want to work hard and really change the lives of these young people. They're there on a mission. So, you know, some are going to leave. She then returned to the "last in, first out" question, arguing that perhaps teachers would be less likely to leave if they weren't concerned about being laid off. "Right now there have to be a lot of teachers thinking, 'Maybe I don't have a job next year.' Can we afford to have thousands of teachers think to themselves, 'I have to leave the system now because I may not have a job in a few months?' That's going to be a catastrophe," she said. For years, researchers have asked why teachers leave schools — particularly struggling schools. A 2007 paper by a group studying New York City teachers, the Teacher Pathways Project, summarized the major findings this way: "Teachers are more likely to stay in schools in which student achievement is higher and teachers — especially white teachers — are more likely to stay in schools with higher proportions of white students." "Teachers who score higher on tests of academic achievement are more likely to leave," as are teachers from out of town. Less-qualified teachers are more likely to stay at a school than teachers with higher qualifications, "especially if they teach in low-achieving schools."
July 8, 2010
Charter schools see higher teacher turnover across the nation
Teacher turnover rates at charter schools nationwide are more than double those of traditional public schools, according to a study done by the National Center on School Choice. Researchers found that charter schools lost 25 percent of their teachers to other schools and careers while district schools lost 14 percent, a difference the report called the "turnover gap." The report's findings are based on teacher survey data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics from the 2003-2004 school year. "The odds of a charter school teacher leaving the profession versus staying in the same school were 130 percent greater than those of a traditional public school teacher," the researchers noted. The report's authors found little data to support the idea that charter school turnover is higher because these schools have more leeway to fire teachers, a claim made by some charter school supporters.
March 17, 2009
Contest: Find the school with the most teacher turnover
After I posted the teacher turnover numbers from the Bronx high school where teachers are currently speaking out against their principal, a reader…
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