When teachers leave schools, overall morale appears to suffer enough that student achievement declines—both for those taught by the departed teachers and by students whose teachers stayed put, concludes arecently presented at a conference held by the Center for Longitudinal Data in Education Research.
The researchers—the University of Michigan’s Matthew Ronfeldt, Stanford University’s Susanna Loeb, and the University of Virginia’s Jim Wyckoff—looked at eight years of test-score data for New York City 4th and 5th graders. For each analysis, students taught by teachers in the same grade-level team in the same school did worse in years when turnover rates were higher, compared with years in which there was less teacher turnover.
The effects were seen in both large and small schools, new and old ones, and the negative effects were larger in schools with more low-achieving and black students.
A version of this article appeared in the March 28, 2012 edition of Education Week as Teacher Turnover