Tapping the Potential: Retaining and Developing High Quality Teachers
American schools spend more than $2.6 billion annually replacing teachers who have dropped out of the teaching profession. At a Capitol Hill briefing today, the Alliance for Excellent Education released a new report which cites comprehensive induction, especially in a teacher’s first two years on the job, as the single 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: Connecticut BEST, Santa Cruz New Teacher Project (CA), Tangipahoa FIRST (LA), and The Toledo Plan (OH).
Representatives from the Alliance for Excellent Education were joined at the briefing by U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Tom Carroll (president of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future), and the 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 per cent 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 one dollar invested; however, only one percent of beginning teachers currently receives the ongoing training and support that constitutes comprehensive induction when they enter the teaching profession. Comprehensive induction is defined as including high-quality mentoring, common planning time, ongoing professional development, an external network, and standards-based evaluation.
Tapping the Potential makes the following recommendations: states and school districts should use funds from Title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (now the No Child Left Behind Act) to fund comprehensive induction programs; Title II of the Higher Education Act should be amended to require partnership grantees to provide comprehensive induction; and new funding should be appropriated by Congress to ensure that every new teacher in our nation’s high-need schools receives comprehensive induction.
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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life. It is funded by the Leeds Family, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Daniels Fund, and the New York Community Trust, as well as by concerned individuals.
For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit: www.all4ed.com.