School Choice & Charters Report Roundup

Studies: Teacher Retention Lower at Charter Schools

By Christina A. Samuels — August 09, 2011 1 min read

Charter school teachers in the 678,000-student Los Angeles school district are up to three times more likely to leave their school at year’s end compared with their peers in traditional public schools, according to a study from the University of California, Berkeley.

At the same time, a second study from the university shows that charter school students tend to be loyal to their schools: They were up to 80 percent less likely to leave than their peers at traditional public schools.

Both studies looked at the time frame between 2002 and 2009, when the number of charter schools in Los Angeles tripled from 53 to 157.

They found that:

• Latino teachers and students were significantly less likely to leave one school for another, regardless of whether their school was a charter;

• African-American students were up to one-third more likely to leave than Latino pupils; and,

• Magnet elementary schools, which offer more specialized courses, experienced little student turnover.

More research is needed to determine possible causes of poor teacher retention in charter schools and how teacher and student mobility affect achievement, the report says.

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A version of this article appeared in the August 10, 2011 edition of Education Week as Studies: Teacher Retention Lower at Charter Schools

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