Panel Paper: Where Did All the Teachers Go? Identifying Patterns of Teacher Attrition By Preparation Pathway and School Type

Friday, July 20, 2018
Building 5, Sala Maestros Lower (ITAM)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Sarah Guthery, Texas A&M University and Lauren P. Bailes, University of Delaware

The teacher licensure system is unsustainable for three reasons: it increases barriers to entry,

decreases the overall quality of teachers in the workforce, and amplifies inequity in schools. This

study investigates patterns of new teacher persistence using a database of 186,746 new teachers

in Texas over 15 years. We linked this dataset to several state and national data sources1 in order

to calculate their odds of persistence over five years. We estimated a series of logistic models to

calculate the odds of new teacher persistence controlling for preparation pathways and school

types. Preliminary results show that at the school level, there is a 1/3 chance that a new teacher

will persist five years in an urban school, which falls to a 1/4 chance in a hard-to-staff school. If

a teacher is traditionally certified, they have an 18% higher likelihood of persisting five years at

their initial school relative to alternative preparation paths. In hard-to-staff schools, the strongest

predictors of persistence are traditional certification and teaching in a traditional public school

versus a charter school. Results suggest that nontraditional certification pathways may in fact

exacerbate the current teacher shortage rather than ameliorate it. Ongoing analysis will focus on

patterns of migration across schools and districts as we identify the strongest and weakest chains

of teacher production and retention.