Currently, 44% of Georgia’s newly hired teachers are dropping out of the profession by year five. Equally alarming is that there was a 16% dip from 2010 to 2014 in the number of candidates entering Georgia’s teacher preparation programs.
For students, this could mean larger class sizes, fewer opportunities, and a decreased chance of being taught by a quality teacher.
To find the root cause of this growing crisis, the Georgia Department of Education surveyed current and former teachers to ask them what factors they felt were pushing them or their colleagues out of the profession. Within three weeks, more than 53,000 Georgia teachers – almost half of the state’s teacher workforce – responded to our survey (view the full report here), showing that teachers were ready to talk about this critical issue.
The results were enlightening. The top reason teachers selected for leaving the profession was “Number of state mandated tests” with “Method for evaluating teachers” as a close second. Though “Compensation/Benefits” was an option and ranked higher than the average, it was not listed in the top three.
Teachers were given an option to explain why they picked their top cause and their comments were striking. Many teachers not only explained how the cause they chose was pushing their colleagues out of the profession, but also how the cause was damaging to their students. Many teachers doubted that anyone would read their comments and that any change would come. Their comments weren’t made cynically, but were expressed in a candid tone that reflected on a profession that they felt was fading away. Some of their concerns are rooted in what’s reflected in the words of state law; others in the actions brought forth by the department’s interpretation and implementation of those laws.
Ask almost any teacher, and he or she can tell you who inspired them to go into teaching. For me, it was Mrs. Phillips. Our survey asked teachers: “If you had a student about to graduate from high school, how likely would you be to encourage teaching as a profession?” Only 2.7% of teachers said it was very likely they would encourage their students to go into teaching, while 33.2% of teachers said it was very unlikely they would encourage their students to pursue teaching. This tells us the crisis will only get worse if action isn’t taken.
Read full oped at: http://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/communications/Pages/PressReleaseDetails.aspx?PressView=default&pid=408
of Georgia’s newly hired teachers are dropping out of the profession by year five.
dip from 2010 to 2014 in the number of candidates entering Georgia’s teacher preparation programs
Number of state mandated tests
Ranked as #1 reason teachers are leaving the profession
Method for evaluating teachers
Ranked as #2 reason teachers are leaving the profession
of Georgia teachers said they would not encourage their students to become teachers
Georgia's School Superintendent
Richard Woods has over 24 years of pre-k through 12th grade experience in public education. > Read Full Bio