Teaching Profession Report Roundup

‘Churn’ Among Teachers Seen to Affect Learning

By Stephen Sawchuk — August 23, 2016 1 min read

Each year, nearly a quarter of all New York City teachers move within their schools to a new grade-level assignment or a new subject. And those reassignments can depress their students’ achievement, concludes a study.

Teacher “churning,” as the study characterizes that kind of movement, is little studied, but extremely common. The new study is among the first to provide some preliminary evidence that this churn, on average, isn’t doing students any favors.

The research, forthcoming in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, was written by Allison Atteberry of the University of Colorado at Boulder, Susanna Loeb of Stanford University, and James Wyckoff of the University of Virginia.

The trio looked at records on teachers in New York City from 1974 through 2010. A subset of those teachers, from 1999-2000, were linked to student-achievement records in grades 3-8, allowing the researchers to analyze the link between teacher churn and students’ test scores.

Overall, the study found that nearly 42 percent of teachers have new assignments in some way during a typical school year. And, of that number, more than half—54 percent—are changing assignments in the same school.

Much of that movement seems to be caused by teachers who leave a school or the profession, thereby requiring administrators to shuffle teachers around and hire new ones to make sure all classes are covered. But some schools tended to have far more switches than others, and black, Hispanic, and English-learner students were somewhat more likely to be assigned to a teacher moving to a new grade or subject in his or her school, but the overall difference was small.

The study estimates that the negative effect on student achievement of getting a churned teacher is about a quarter of the size of being assigned a brand-new teacher.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the August 24, 2016 edition of Education Week as ‘Churn’ Among Teachers Seen to Affect Learning

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
How Principals Can Support Student Well-Being During COVID
Join this webinar for tips on how to support and prioritize student health and wellbeing during COVID.
Content provided by Unruly Studios
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
Professional Development Webinar
Building Leadership Excellence Through Instructional Coaching
Join this webinar for a discussion on instructional coaching and ways you can link your implement or build on your program.
Content provided by Whetstone Education/SchoolMint
Teaching Webinar Tips for Better Hybrid Learning: Ask the Experts What Works
Register and ask your questions about hybrid learning to our expert panel.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Strategic Account Manager
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
President and CEO
Alexandria, Virginia
National Association of State Boards of Education
CCLC Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
CCLC Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Read Next

Teaching Profession Teachers Are Stressed Out, and It's Causing Some to Quit
Stress, more so than low pay, is the main reason public school teachers quit. And COVID-19 has increased the pressure.
7 min read
Image of exit doors.
pavel_balanenko/iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession Opinion Should Teachers Be Prioritized for the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Not all states are moving teachers to the front of the vaccination line. Researchers discuss the implications for in-person learning.
6 min read
Teacher Lizbeth Osuna from Cooper Elementary receives the Moderna vaccine at a CPS vaccination site at Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.
Chicago public school teacher Lizbeth Osuna receives the COVID-19 vaccine at a school vaccination site last week.
Anthony Vazquez/Chicago Sun-Times via AP
Teaching Profession Chicago Teachers Approve School Reopening Plan: ‘We Got What We Were Able to Take’
Chicago Teachers Union members have voted in favor of a reopening deal, signaling that in-person classes can resume Thursday as planned.
Hannah Leone & Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas
4 min read
Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson speaks during a news conference at City Hall in Chicago on Feb. 7, 2021. The Chicago Teachers Union has approved a deal with the nation’s third-largest school district to get students back to class during the coronavirus pandemic, union officials announced early Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021.
Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson speaks during a news conference at City Hall in Chicago on Feb. 7. The Chicago Teachers Union has approved a deal with the nation’s third-largest school district to get students back to class during the coronavirus pandemic.
Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP
Teaching Profession 1 in 5 Educators Have Been Vaccinated, NEA Survey Finds
About one-fifth of teachers in the nation's largest teachers' union have had a COVID-19 vaccine; another 18 percent have scheduled a shot.
3 min read
Penny Cracas, right, with the Chester County, Pa., Health Department, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Dando, a school nurse, late last year in  West Chester, Pa.
Penny Cracas, right, with the Chester County, Pa., Health Department, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Dando, a school nurse, late last year in West Chester, Pa.
Matt Slocum/AP