The constant churn affects schools’ ability to provide all students with skilled teachers. But professor Richard Ingersoll says schools can fix this without spending a dime.
- Beginning teachers are more likely to drop out.
- Those from top colleges — the most selective colleges and universities — are more likely to drop out.
- Minority teachers are more likely to drop out than white, non-Hispanic teachers.
- Most of the turnover is driven by school conditions. Salary is not the main thing. It’s important, but not the main thing. And that’s an important finding because the teaching force is so large — it’s now America’s largest occupation — that raising everyone’s salaries is a very expensive proposition.
Teachers Want a Voice
“One of the main factors is the issue of voice, and having say, and being able to to have input into the key decisions in the building that affect a teacher’s job. This is something that is a hallmark of professions. It’s something that teachers usually have very little of, but it does vary across schools and it’s very highly correlated with the decision whether to stay or leave.
“How much say does the faculty collectively have?”
“How much leeway do you have in your classroom over a series of issues?”
It turns out both levels are really important for decisions whether to stay or to part. And what’s interesting about this finding [is that] this would not cost money to fix. This is an issue of management.”