Learning Policy Institute offers solutions for 'invisible problem' of teacher retention
- Learning Policy Institute President Linda Darling-Hammond and Research and Policy Associate Desiree Carver Thomas write for Edutopia that, amid teacher shortages, teacher retention remains an "invisible problem," and the duo make a number of suggestions for addressing it based on their recent study, "Teacher Turnover: Why It Matters and What We Can Do About It."
- They have found that teachers with high-quality preparation and mentorship were less likely to leave the field, and states can assist in boosting access via service loans and forgivable scholarships, as well as teacher residencies and apprenticeships with expert teachers in high-need districts.
- Additionally, states should focus on high-quality principal training so that teachers have the support they need in the schools they're employed in, as well as higher salaries and stronger benefits that potentially include housing and child care supports.
Data shows some 16% of teachers switching jobs or leaving the profession all together each year, highlighting the difficulty of retaining talented educators once they've been recruited. Supports are especially critical, especially for those in high-needs districts where schools are likely to serve a higher number of students impacted by poverty and related trauma, which can include food insecurity, local street violence and incarcerated parents.
Additionally, salaries remain stagnant in many regions — so much so that some teachers in cities like San Francisco can't even afford to live in the area anymore. A recent report said that 69% of mid-level teachers' pay went toward rent on a one-bedroom apartment on the city, measured against a 30% threshold to be considered "affordable." Compounding matters, some cities have attempted to alleviate these concerns by providing district-owned affordable housing options, but in the case of Los Angeles, teachers made just enough that it was considered too much to live in that housing.
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