Analysts say better retention policies are needed to stop the
trend that's kicking nearly 50 percent of educators who begin
teaching careers out of the profession within five years.
The National Education Association attributes the high
attrition rates to dissatisfaction with school leadership, large
class sizes and low wages. But Lindsey Burke of The Heritage
Foundation says none of those is the primary problem.
know that schools by and large, that the majority of American
children attend schools that don't differentiate between excellent
teachers and mediocre teachers," Burke notes, "and I think that
lack of differentiation is a far greater factor in teacher
satisfaction and teacher turnover."
She also believes a bloat of non-teaching personnel that have
been hired over the past several decades is a huge problem.
"We've seen a 138-percent increase in the number of non-teaching
staff in public schools across the country," the analyst reports.
"Imagine how much better great teachers could be compensated if
that administrative bloat didn't weigh down state coffers."
According to the National Commission on Teaching and America's
Future, districts annually spend tens of thousands of dollars on
personnel recruitment and retention -- money that Burke says could
be put to better use.