Studies conducted nationwide from 2012 to 2014 have shown that high teacher turnover rate, the rate at which teachers quit their jobs, serves as one of the most harmful factors in education, according to Indiana Public Media.
“I think that there is a lot of pressure on teachers from students and accommodating to our young students’ needs. [People] are [also] blaming a lot of society’s and education’s problems on teachers, and teachers don’t have a lot of control over certain aspects of their classrooms. All of these problems are compounded by the feeling of isolation,” science teacher Veronica Lofthouse said.
As reported by the Alliance for Excellent Education in July, half a million U.S. teachers either move or leave their profession each year, which is a turnover rate of about 20 percent. According to the Atlantic, 40 to 50 percent of teachers will leave the classroom within their first five years. As listed by Philanthropy News Digest, salary, overall job dissatisfaction, inadequate professional development opportunities, insufficient emotional backings and inadequate feedback with respect to their performance are overarching reasons why teachers tend to leave their positions.
“[Teachers who quit are] finding jobs that are more lucrative pay-wise, and the requirements [they] have to fulfill nowadays are tenfold than what it used to be when I was a teacher,” P.E. teacher Eileen Kaiser said.
Most importantly, the high turnover rate may harm a student’s ability to learn at his or her maximum capacity. According to test score data that spanned over eight years, New York City students from fourth and fifth grade had lower scores in years where teacher turnover rates were higher compared to years in which the rate was lower. In this way, rapid turnover in teachers might interrupt students’ learning.
“I think this is a bad thing because when teachers leave, they stop the momentum of how the subject is taught,” sophomore Christina Tran said.
Moreover, this high turnover rate also strains school budgets and district spending with an extra $2.2 billion paid annually for recruiting and processing new hires, along with money spent on induction, training and development, as stated by National Public Radio.
Meanwhile, administrator stability serves as the factor that most teachers consider when making retention decisions and it also directly affects student and school achievement. The Moor Weekly will have further coverage of how administrator turnover rate affects education in the upcoming issue.