“I don’t know why everybody isn’t talking about this. Everybody, everywhere, is single-mindedly focused on the achievement gap, and nobody is spending any time talking about what potentially could be one of the biggest underliers of why we have one.”
–Gail McGee, Houston Independent School District
An important new report from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching sheds some important light on the changing demographics of the teaching profession.
Research has shown that experience makes for a more effective teacher. Yet today, nearly a third of teachers exit the profession within the first three years. And high-poverty schools experience a 50% greater attrition rate than higher-wealth schools. Author Susan Headden notes, “It’s not money, or lack of it, that’s causing most teachers to leave. The primary driver of the exodus of early career teachers is a lack of administrative and professional support.”
While citing a great deal of research pointing to reasons for high levels of attrition, the report also focuses on solutions that are being implemented across the country, including: a teacher induction “Boot Camp” in Houston, a Roving Mentor program (Iowa), and teacher residencies.