Teacher Turnover Affects All Students’ Achievement

Sometimes, it’s good to question beliefs that seem like common sense.  Sometimes you’ll find out those beliefs are wrong.  And, sometimes you find out they’re right.  That high turnover for teachers (or pretty much any worker) leads to a less effective workforce seems like common sense to me.  But, a TFA defender on a forum, who finally seemed to acknowledge that TFA recruits had high attrition rate, challenged whether this was really so bad.  The goal, after all, is raising achievement for students, not lifetime employment for teachers.  So, what does the research say about high teacher turnover?   As it turned out, a recent study answers this question.  The study, How teacher turnover harms student achievement, finds “that students in grade-levels with higher turnover score lower in both ELA and math and that this effect is particularly strong in schools with more low-performing and black students. Moreover, the results suggest that there is a disruptive effect of turnover beyond changing the distribution in teacher quality.”

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