Recruitment & Retention

Study: First-Year Teacher Attrition May Approach 10%

By Stephen Sawchuk — September 16, 2011 1 min read

Teacher attrition among first year teachers may be as high as 10 percent, according to a new data analysis from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

It’s the first release of data from the NCES’ Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study, which was begun a few years ago to track the career paths of beginning teachers from 2007 and 2008. It reflects the first three years of data in the study, which will continue for a minimum of five years.

About 2,000 teachers were included in the original cohort.

Among the findings:

• Almost a tenth of teachers who began teaching in 2007 or 2008 left teaching after the first year.

• In 2009-10, three-quarters of beginning teachers stayed in the same school they’d taught in the previous year, but the others had moved to another public school or even another school district.

• Of those beginning teachers who were assigned a mentor, 8 percent were not teaching in the following year, compared with 16 percent of those who were not assigned a mentor.

• A slightly higher proportion of teachers with salaries of $40,000 or more were still teaching the following year, compared to those with salaries below that figure.

This data isn’t causal, so it’s difficult to draw firm conclusions about it. We don’t know, for instance, whether the presence or absence of a mentor affected the mobility patterns seen. But the data certainly raise some interesting questions for discussion.

Readers, your take?

(Thanks to Twitter’s @KenMLibby @EduGlaze for putting this on my radar.)

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