Turnover of public school teachers in the United States
There is a consensus among the concerned stakeholders that the quality of teachers is the leading factor in determination of student performance. In the case of United States, the student performance can only be given an impetus by the efforts which the state can make, under all costs, to develop and retain high quality teachers. The measures undertaken determine the level of turnover of the school teachers. Lazear (2009) similarly argues the length of employment is a critical factor in averse risks of employment a trend contrary to teachers treatment. The turnover of public school teachers will refer to the rate at which the state, which is the teacher’s employer, gain or loses teachers. This is determined further by how long the teachers tend to stay in the teaching profession before moving to other professions or locations. This paper will attempt to evaluate the level of turnover of public school teachers in the United States.
Fundamentally, the first question one should seek an answer is; what factors would need to be studied in order to answer the question of whether teacher turnover is too high or too low? Many people would quickly hypothesize that retirement is the major cause for teacher attrition. However, a close scrutiny of the situation on the ground has it that this is not true. According to the analysis done by the US department of education, 2000 to 2001, teachers give other reasons rather than retirement when leaving and the most common include job dissatisfaction and search for other positions in other professions. For those teachers who transfer schools, 65 percent move because of lack of planning time, 60 percent move because of work overload, 53 percent move because of problematic student behavior and 52 percent due to lack of influence over school policy.
This is therefore enough evidence that there are factors which could lead to teacher’s low or high turnover in schools. While low turnover is beneficial to the employer, high turnover is detrimental and costly to the employer in terms of the money used in recruiting, retention and teacher compensation. Therefore, it will be good to study some of the factors and briefly analyze their effect on teachers’ turnover.
The pupil/ teacher ratio
In the United States, majority of teachers are public school teachers and they make over three millions in numbers. The number of pupils per teacher has recorded a decline for the last few decades and it continues to decline to date. The average class size presently is over 20 pupils for public elementary schools and 23.4 for public secondary schools. This can tell the reason as to why teachers leave teaching professions because of workload.
This is another factor which could lead to high teacher turnover in the United States. The current teacher average salary has just gone higher by less than 4 percent from the salary of nearly two decades...