As students return to school this year, many of them, particularly those from historically underserved groups, are entering one of the more than 100,000 classrooms across the country staffed by an educator who is not fully prepared to teach. Widespread teacher shortages have resulted in difficulty hiring qualified teachers, cancellations of courses, and increased class sizes. While shortages draw attention to recruiting more teachers, 90% of nationwide demand for new teacher hires is actually created by teachers leaving the profession. Reducing teacher turnover—both teachers leaving the profession and those leaving particular schools and districts—can go a long way toward solving shortages.
At this forum new data on the extent, nature, and cost of teacher turnover was presented, and recommendations offered for addressing the issue, including evidence-based policies at the federal, state, and local levels to create a strong pipeline into the profession and provide ongoing support to increase retention.