02 December 2005

Eight Questions

The Education Commission of the States recently released a report entitled Eight Questions on Teacher Recruitment and Retention: What Does the Research Say? Here's a summary:
  • What are the characteristics of those who enter teaching? (white women who aren't the smartest ones out there)
  • How do those individuals who remain in teaching compare to those who leave? (they aren't pregnant/have small children)
  • What are the characteristics of schools and districts most likely to be successful in recruiting and retaining teachers? (large, white, middle class to affluent)
  • What impact do working conditions have on their ability to recruit and retain teachers? (not much evidence here)
  • What impact does compensation have on the recruitment and retention teachers? (a key role, but is influenced by other factors such as working conditions)
  • What impact do various strategies related to teacher preparation have on teacher recruitment and retention? (limited evidence that alternative routes to a certificate can be just as good as traditional programs)
  • What impact do induction and mentoring have on teacher retention? (little evidence here, too, that it makes a difference)
  • What is the efficacy of particular recruitment strategies and policies in bringing new teachers to the profession, including specifically targeted populations? (no information available)

If you have some time, I recommend a look at the whole report (twelve pages). Secondary questions, policy implications, and other information are contained with the paper. These are all good questions. Too bad there aren't more answers.


Carol said...

Thought-provoking... Sometimes I wonder why I stay in teaching - but I know the answer. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

A. Rivera said...

Never ceases to amaze me how they can afford all sorts of studies to find out things that seem common sense or obvious. I mean, of course the districts with the better funding and conditions will attract and keep teachers. However, it does seem to put things in a nice package. Now, for anyone who may want to read more on teacher retention, I just finished reading Teachers Have it Easy. For some, it may really make you think why you still teach. For me, well, I was one of those who did some time and left for other things. Don't get me wrong, I loved teaching secondary school, but all the other obstacles, well, I saw no reason to put up with them.

I got here via the Carnival of Education. Best.