According to a new study in California, the primary reason is working conditions.
Teachers who stayed reported they felt strongly supported at their schools, not only by administrators, but by colleagues.
The survey found that many teachers quit because there was too little planning time, too much paperwork, unreliable assistance from the school district, and a general lack of support.
More than half of the ex-teachers surveyed said they had quit because they were dissatisfied with the pay or the conditions at their school.
One of the teachers featured in the story who left the classroom was Teacher of the Year in Marin County, which is not exactly a high poverty part of the state.
Here’s what the researchers recommend as ways to retain teachers in the profession:
1. School administrators should continuously assess teaching conditions.
2. California should increase education funding to at least adequate levels.
3. Introduce administrative policies that support teachers’ instructional needs.
4. Principals should focus on “high-quality teaching and learning conditions.”
5. The state should establish standards for teaching and learning conditions.
6. Administrators should address specific challenges in retaining special education teachers.
None of that seems particularly radical. Extremely general and vague, but not radical.
However, the real question is, does the public really care if large numbers of teachers leave the classroom every year?
I mean, care enough to pay the bills for all of this.