"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, July 13, 2009

Charter Teachers 230 Percent More Likely to Leave Than Public School Teachers

From Ed Week's Debbie Viadero:
Here's an interesting statistical nugget I picked up yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association: The odds that a teacher in a charter school will leave the profession are 230 percent greater than the odds that a teacher in a traditional public school in their state will do so.

The disturbingly high figure comes from a study by a pair of researchers from Vanderbilt University in Nashville. David A. Stuit and Thomas M. Smith analyzed federal data from the 2003-04 school year on 14,428 teachers from charters and traditional public schools in 16 states.

In the charter schools, nearly a quarter of the teachers ended up leaving by the end of the school year, 14 percent of them leaving the field altogether and 11 percent transferring to another school.

By comparison, the average turnover rate in the regular public schools in the same states was around 14 percent. Half the departing teachers were leavers and half were switchers. . . .


  1. Anonymous12:19 AM

    In my opinion it is about the Unions. Everybody has a problem with teacher's unions until they are faced with a slave-driving principal and children you really don't affect after they leave the school building.

  2. I'd like to see how many charter school teachers in this study were studying education and doing teacher preparation programs before entering the school compared to how many public school teachers. I'll bet that more charter school teachers are career changers or recent college grads who did not spend at least a few years preparing to be a teacher before entering the profession. I'm not saying this makes a better teacher, but it could certainly affect their motivation to stick it out!