Teacher Retention – The Teacher Shortage: A Case of Wrong Diagnosis and Wrong Prescription
Teacher Retention -The Abstract:
This article investigates the possibility that the organizational characteristics and conditions of schools are driving teacher turnover. The data used in this investigation come from the Schools and Staffing Survey and its supplement, the Teacher Follow-up Survey, conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, 1996). This analysis indicates that the amount of turnover accounted for by retirement is relatively minor when compared with that associated with other factors such as teachers’job dissatisfaction and teachers’pursuit of other jobs. In fact, school staffing problems are not principally due to teacher shortages; they do not seem to stem from an insufficient supply of qualified teachers but from an excess demand. The data indicate that a revolving door exists, that large numbers of qualified teachers are departing their jobs for reasons other than retirement. Popular education initiatives, such as teacher recruitment programs, will not solve schools’ staffing problems if they do not also address the organizational sources of low teacher retention.
Other scenarios where the popular educational initiative will not solve the schools problem of effectively, efficiently and consistently empowering ALL students with relevant, sustained success: