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Charts of the week
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Charts of the Week: Teacher retention

This edition of Charts of the Week examines teacher retention in the U.S.

TEACHER TURNOVER IS INHERENTLY DISRUPTIVE

Teacher turnover—the yearly rate of departure of teachers from a school—in U.S. middle schools negatively impacts student achievement rates and has increased rapidly since 2012. Helen F. Ladd and Lucy Sorensen demonstrate that “higher teacher turnover leads to higher proportions of teachers with limited experience, lateral entry teachers or those with provisional licenses.”

STRONG PRINCIPALS RETAIN EFFECTIVE TEACHERS

Jason A. Grissom notes that “the quality of a school’s leadership is among the most important predictors of teacher turnover.” According to Grissom, schools that have effective principals are “more likely to retain their best teachers and less likely to retain their lowest-performing teachers, a pattern we refer to as ‘strategic retention.’”

RECRUITING HIGHER-QUALITY PRESERVICE TEACHERS MAY REDUCE TEACHER TURNOVER

Many schools and districts find it difficult to identify high-quality, long-term teachers, especially among young professionals just joining the workforce. Robert Vagi, Margarita Pivovarova, and Wendy Miedel Barnard illustrate that “some initial evidence [shows] that both preparing and recruiting higher-quality preservice teachers into the profession may ultimately help reduce teacher turnover.”

Mimi Cottingham contributed to this post.

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