How teacher turnover harms student achievement (research)

We already know for a longer time that there exist a negative correlation between a huge teacher turnover in schools and the learning results of their pupils. This research now shows that there is also a causal relation. It’s a bitter irony that the biggest damage by teacher turnover occurs in schools where the turnover is happening most often. In this research, the negative impact has been examined on reading and math.

So, it’s not only thinking about how to get teachers, but also how to keep teachers, something many countries don’t do well at…

Abstract of the research that can be downloaded here:

Researchers and policymakers often assume that teacher turnover harms student achievement, but recent evidence calls into question this assumption. Using a unique identification strategy that employs grade-level turnover and two classes of fixed-effects models, this study estimates the effects of teacher turnover on over 850,000 New York City 4th and 5th grade student observations over eight years. The results indicate that students in grade-levels with higher turnover score lower in both ELA and math and that this effect is particularly strong in schools with more low-performing and black students. Moreover, the results suggest that there is a disruptive effect of turnover beyond changing the distribution in teacher quality.

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