A depressing report by Howard Blume in Today's LA Times. Teacher turnover in California schools is alarmingly high. But empowerment and working conditions seem to be as important factors--or more--than salary levels. These categories probably have analogs in other professions, too.
10 Reason Teachers Quit
|Contributing factors cited:|
|Poor support from district||52%|
|Low staff morale||45%|
|Lack of resources||42%|
|Too little decision-making authority||40%|
|Too little time for planning||36%|
|Lack of teamwork||35%|
Source: Calif. State University/Los Angeles Times
In California, teachers are departing the profession in alarming numbers — 22% in four years or fewer — but simply offering them more money won't solve the problem, according to a report released Thursday. The real issue is working conditions, which are the flip side of a student's learning conditions, said Ken Futernick, who directs K-12 studies at the Center for Teacher Quality at Cal State Sacramento. His study, which was based on a survey of nearly 2,000 California teachers, maps a growing crisis that fundamentally affects student learning. The study also casts doubt on commonly pursued remedies both for the teacher shortage and student achievement in general. Classroom interruptions, student discipline, increasing demands, insufficient supplies, overcrowding, unnecessary meetings, lack of support — all play a role in burning out teachers.