American schools spend more than $2.6 billion annually replacing teachers who have dropped out of the teaching profession. At a Capitol Hill briefing last week, the Alliance for Excellent Education released a new report that cites comprehensive induction, especially in a teacher’s first two years on the job, as the single most effective strategy to stem the rapidly increasing teacher attrition rate.
The report, Tapping the Potential: Retaining and Developing High-Quality New Teachers, includes federal policy recommendations, in-depth analysis of new teacher induction practices, and four case studies of successful teacher induction programs that are already in place: Connecticut BEST, the Santa Cruz Teacher Project (California), Tangipahoa FIRST (Louisiana), and the Toledo Plan (Ohio).
Representatives from the Alliance for Excellent Education were joined at the briefing by U.S. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), Tom Carroll, president of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, and nationally recognized University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education researcher and professor Richard Ingersoll.
“Placing new teachers in the most challenging classrooms without comprehensive induction and expecting them to perform like experienced teachers is like putting newly licensed drivers in a NASCAR race,” said Susan Frost, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education. “If we are to achieve our national goal of providing an equitable education to children across this nation, it is critical that efforts be concentrated on developing and retaining high-quality teachers in every community and at every grade level.”
According to the report, one out of every two new teachers will quit within five years. About 207,000 teachers-nearly 6 percent of the teaching workforce-will not return to teaching next fall. Research shows that comprehensive induction cuts attrition rates in half and develops new teachers more rapidly into highly skilled, experienced professionals. Induction has been shown to create a payoff of $1.37 for every $1 invested; however, only 1 percent of beginning teachers currently receive the ongoing training and support that constitutes comprehensive induction when they enter the teaching profession.
The complete report is available here.