A Possible Dream: Retaining California Teachers So All Students Learn

Liam Julian

Ken Futernick
The Center for Teacher Quality
California State University
2007

Like other states, California needs qualified teachers. But it also needs to keep the qualified teachers it already has, a challenge, considering that 22 percent of California teachers leave the profession before they're in the classroom five years. And lots of research has shown that the teachers most likely to hit the road are also most likely to be smart, savvy, innovative folks. This turnover doesn't only disrupt schools and drain them of the most-talented instructors, but it costs California nearly half a billion dollars each year in squandered teacher training. Conventional wisdom says Golden State teachers are leaving the classroom because they're not making a lot of money. And while lots of dissatisfied teachers (41%) do explain that poor compensation and benefits contributed to their decision to quit, more say that stifling bureaucracy (56%), poor district support (52%), low staff morale (45%), and lack of resources (42%) are the real problems. This report offers six solid recommendations for how to retain California teachers, recommendations that the state would do well to heed. You can read them here.

More By Author