Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Teacher culture: does it explain why there's a higher turnover in small high schools?

New research pinpoints factors that affect teacher turnover
By Sarah Karp
Catalyst Chicago
June 29, 2009

Small high schools, once heralded as a way to build stronger relationships between teachers and students, have some of the highest rates of teacher turnover in the district. This is one of the more interesting findings from the report The Schools Teachers Leave, released today by the Consortium on Chicago School Research.

Linking teacher personnel data, survey data and information about schools and communities, researchers found that Chicago’s one-year turnover rate is similar to that of other schools in Illinois and across the nation: about 80 percent of teachers stay at their school from one year to the next. But within five years, most CPS schools lose about half of their teachers.

At both the elementary and high school level, small schools had higher turnover than larger schools. Elementary schools with more than 700 students retained 83 percent of their teachers from year-to-year, compared to just 78 percent at schools with fewer than 350 students. Similarly, larger high schools retained 83 percent of teachers; small high schools, just 73 percent...

Much of the report seeks to pinpoint why teachers leave.

At small high schools, researchers said that more intensive work may be required, as teachers are supposed to reach out and bond with students. Also, school conflicts might be more acute...


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