Teacher Preparation Programs Increase Beginning Teacher Retention

Boe, E.E., Bobbitt , S.A. , Cook, L.H, Whitener, S.D., & Weber, A. L. (1997). Why didst thou go? Predictors of retention, transfer, and attrition of special and general education teachers from a national perspective. The Journal of Special Education, 30 (4), 390-411.

Boe et al. analyzed data from the Schools and Staffing Survey and found that teachers with full certification (including preparation in content and pedagogy) were less likely to leave teaching than those who were only partially certified.

Fowler, R.C. (2003, April 22). The Massachusetts Signing Bonus Program for New Teachers: A model of teacher preparation worth copying? Education Policy Analysis Archives. Retrieved August 4, 2005 from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v11n13/

In Massachusetts ’ alternative certification program, the Massachusetts Institute for New Teachers (MINT), participants quit at rates well above the national average, even though they received bonuses for entering and remaining for four years. After three years, the attrition rates of the first cohort were 46 percent for all teachers and 55 percent for urban teachers. Attrition rates in the next two cohorts were also higher than the national average after one year.

Ingersoll., R. Analysis of 2000-2001 Follow-Up Survey for National Commission on Teaching and America ’s Future, in No Dream Denied, January 2003. National Commission on Teaching and America ’s Future. p. 84. www.nctaf.org .

When teacher candidates are prepared according to six key elements, first year teacher attrition is cut in half, from 25 percent to 12 percent.

Johnson, S.M., Berg, J. H., and Donaldson, M.L. (2005). Who Stays in Teaching and Why: A review of the literature on teacher retention. Harvard University Graduate School of Education. The Project on the Next Generation of Teachers. http://www.aarp.org/nrta/teaching.html

“If, as some recent research suggests, teachers who are effective in the classroom are more likely to remain in teaching than those who are not, then it is important to consider whether there are differences in the confidence and success of teachers who are alternatively and traditionally prepared…While it seems clear that those earning certification through alternative paths leave the classroom at higher rates, it also appears that those earning certification through alternative routes are more likely to attract the candidates that are the most underrepresented in traditional preparation programs…”(p. 24).

Shen, J. (2003). New teachers’ certification status and attrition pattern. A survival analysis using the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study 1993-97. Paper presented at the AERA annual meeting, Chicago.

Shen examined attrition rates among 1702 teachers who had graduated from college within five years, and found that 34 percent of the sample had left teaching. In comparing teachers with pedagogical training and those without it, he found that teachers with no training were more than three times more likely to leave teaching during any given year. Those who completed student teaching, acquired certification, and participated in induction were 111 percent more likely to stay in teaching than those who had no training.


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