Teacher Retention

A new report shows one-third of teachers quit during their first three years on the job and almost half leave within five years.

The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future said states are lowering standards and scrapping training in order to fill the teacher gap, and those are the measures that end up driving teachers off.

The report also said education officials should focus on improving working conditions, pay and career opportunities and showing that teachers are appreciated.

Turnover is highest in poor, mostly minority schools.

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Teacher Shortages

  • Nationwide, some 2.4 million teachers will be needed in the next 11 years because of teacher attrition, retirement, and increased student enrollment.

  • The projection jumps as high as 2.7 million when researchers factor in declining student/teacher ratios based on nationwide class size reduction efforts.

  • By 2008, public school enrollment will exceed 54 million.

  • Enrollment in elementary schools is expected to increase by 17 percent.

  • Enrollment in high schools is expected to increase by 26 percent.

  • In high-poverty urban and rural districts alone, more than 700,000 new teachers will be needed in the next 10 years.

  • Twenty percent of all new hires leave teaching within three years.

Source: www.nea.org/teaching/shortage (National Education Association) contributed to this report