At Many Public Schools, Rankings Contribute to Flight of Teachers
Teacher attrition is attributed to two major reasons – the retirement of baby-boomers from the teaching force and the departures of teachers from schools that fare low on the public schools rankings. Many education experts feel that schools can handle the number of vacancies generated by retirement. It’s the exodus of qualified teachers from schools that perform badly on public school rankings that’s seen as a worrisome phenomenon. While having qualified teachers in every classroom is one of the tenets of the No Child Left Behind Act, finding these teachers and holding on to them is proving to be a challenge.
This is especially true for schools that place low in public schools rankings. Faced with the continuation of NCLB and the prospect of having to earmark considerable sums of money just to be able to keep a teacher in every classroom – whether qualified or not – states have been scrambling to devise ingenious new ways of attracting and retaining the best talents. While finding teachers for all subjects can be tough when you are the principal of a school that’s placed low on public school rankings, the problem becomes even more of a challenge when it comes to finding qualified teachers for math and science. In recant years, thousands of schools placed low in public school rankings have opened without teachers qualified to teach these subjects. With the importance of math and science in the new global economy taken as an accepted fact , and concerns that American students without access to the most proficient science and math training will miss out on economic opportunities, school districts have turned to new ways of sourcing talent.
It’s no Secret that Qualified Teachers Boost Public School Rankings
In states like North Carolina, high poverty area schools at the bottom of the public school rankings ladder had such a difficult time retaining skilled teachers they were forced to hire new ones every term. The situation was so bad that there were many classes without a single certified math teacher. Desperate for a more lasting solution to the teacher crisis, the school district has announced 10,000 dollars in retirement bonus, one of the nations’ largest to math teachers. New York State dangles a teaching fellows program before prospective applicants. The program helps mid career professionals from law and finance defer the cost of a master’s degree. Los Angeles has offered teachers who sign up at high poverty areas that have low public schools rankings a $5,000 bonus.
Retaining teachers in a global world where the corporate arena offers young men and women better career opportunities can be hard. As the demand supply ratio gets skewered, schools that are low on public school rankings will need to make a sustained effort to retain teaching talent.