Combatting Urban Teacher Turnover

August 24, 2007 1 min read

In a recent Education Week Commentary, author Jonathan Kozol offers words of advice to young teachers in urban schools—who are more likely than their peers in suburban and rural settings to leave the profession within the first several years.

Among his recommendations: find a veteran teacher in the school to serve as a mentor or ally; reach out to students’ families; and, most importantly, develop an “enjoyable and mischievous irreverance” for dealing with federal mandates. Teachers who approach these external pressures with “thinly veiled lightheartedness,” while also teaching their students the necessary skills and maintaining control of their classrooms, “will not quit in depair,” he writes.

What do you think? Why do bright young teachers leave urban schools? What will it take to keep them there?

A version of this news article first appeared in the TalkBack blog.