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On the Path to Equity: Improving the Effectiveness of Beginning Teachers

Jul 17, 2014


PathToEquityCoverRoughly half a million U.S. teachers either move or leave the profession each year—attrition that costs the United States up to $2.2 billion annually. This high turnover rate disproportionately affects high-poverty schools and seriously compromises the nation’s capacity to ensure that all students have access to skilled teaching, according to this Alliance report.

To curb turnover—especially among new teachers—the report recommends a comprehensive induction program comprised of multiple types of support, including high-quality mentoring, common planning times, and ongoing support from school leaders.

Read the press release.

Watch archived video from the webinar on the report’s findings featuring Alliance Senior Fellow Mariana Haynes, Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday, University of Pennsylvania Professor Richard Ingersoll, and New Teacher Center Executive Director Ellen Moir.


  1. photo
    Posted 7 months ago

    How is the $2.2 billion cost of turnover calculated? I read the report and saw the breakdown per state at the end, but it didn’t seem to discuss how teacher turnover creates these costs nor did it compare the cost versus the benefit of paying beginning teacher salaries versus medium and long term experienced teacher salaries.

    It doesn’t seem to make sense to me, given that as stated in the report, most school districts don’t spend money or effort on teacher induction.

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    Jason Amos
    Posted 7 months ago

    The Schools and Staffing Survey and the Teacher Follow-Up Survey, a nationally representative survey of teachers conducted every few years by the National Center for Education of the U.S. Department of Education, provides the estimates for: the number of public school teachers in random sample for each states in the 2007-08 school year (Column 2); the total public school teachers employed in each state in the 2007–08 school year (Column 3); and the total public school teachers in each state who left teaching between the 2007–08 and 2008–09 school years (Column 4) .

    Estimates of the total costs of public school teacher attrition (Column 5) are calculated by multiplying the total number of teachers who left by the cost of attrition per teacher based on a 2007 study by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF).
    Thanks for you question. A good portion of the costs included in the report represent the costs incurred to replace teachers who leave, such as recruiting efforts to replace new teachers, training of new teachers, and various human resource costs.

    The pilot study quantifies the real costs of teacher turnover in five school districts, representing a range of communities, large and small, urban and rural. The estimates include eight cost elements that must be considered when examining the actual cost of teacher turnover.

    Using the data collection and analysis protocol from this study, NCTAF created a Teacher Turnover Cost Calculator to make these findings accessible to school leaders and members of the public. For more information, see G. Barnes, E. Crowe, and B. Schaefer, The Cost of Teacher Turnover in Five School Districts (Washington, DC: National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, 2007).

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