Recruitment & Retention What the Research Says

Eliminating High-Stakes Testing May Not Lessen Most Teacher Turnover

By Madeline Will — February 25, 2020 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

For many teachers, high-stakes testing is a major source of frustration—but they’re not necessarily quitting over it.

A new study finds ousting state testing had no effect on overall teacher turnover and attrition, though it may encourage early-career teachers to stay in the profession.

The working paper, published by the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, analyzed the effects of changes in mandated state testing in Georgia. For eight years, all students in grades 1 to 8 were tested in reading, English/language arts, and math, and students in grades 3 to 8 also took tests in science and social studies. But starting in 2011, grade 3-8 students are tested in English/language arts and math, and only students in grades 5 and 8 take science and social studies tests.

The study found removing statewide tests had no effect on the likelihood of teachers changing schools within a district, moving between districts, or quitting altogether. There is one meaningful exception: Teachers with fewer than five years of experience were less likely to leave the profession when there were fewer testing requirements. For new teachers, the likelihood of leaving fell from 14 to 13 percentage points for teachers in grades 1 and 2, and from 14 to 11 percentage points in grades 6 and 7, the study found.

A version of this article appeared in the February 26, 2020 edition of Education Week as Eliminating High-Stakes Testing May Not Lessen Most Teacher Turnover

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Recruitment & Retention From Our Research Center The School Staffing Crisis Won't End Any Time Soon
As uncertainty around COVID persists, the personnel shortages that have been crushing schools for months are getting worse, not better.
6 min read
One hundred dollar bill attached to a fishing hook on a blue background
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Recruitment & Retention To Keep Teachers From Quitting, Address These 5 Key Issues
Pay matters, but is often not the main point of dissatisfaction. Here are five common problems teachers say make them want to quit.
Marina Whiteleather
3 min read
Human resource recruiting candidates with big employer's hand using magnet power to draw new employees.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Recruitment & Retention 4 Changes Schools Can Make to Recruit Teachers of Color and Keep Them Around
America’s K-12 teaching force today remains predominantly white in stark contrast to its rapidly diversifying student body.
5 min read
Freda Arnold chats with some of her students at Booker Junior High school in Little Rock, Ark., on Dec. 21, 1965. Arnold is one of four white educators on the faculty of the all-Black school.
Freda Arnold chats with some of her students at Booker Junior High school in Little Rock, Ark., on Dec. 21, 1965. Arnold is one of four white educators on the faculty of the all-Black school.
AP
Recruitment & Retention Districts Are Screening for Racial Biases During Teacher Job Interviews. Here's How
Increasingly, school systems ask applicants questions about cultural competency, race, and equity during the interview process.
9 min read
Image of chairs in a line.
marchmeena29/iStock/Getty