Northwest Regional Comprehensive Center

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What the Research Says About Teacher Recruitment, Induction, and Retention

The recruitment, retention, and support of highly qualified teachers present three sets of intertwined challenges. Research overwhelmingly points to four broad categories related to the implementation of this strategy that states and districts must consider: organizational structures and supports; recruitment of prepared and qualified teachers; investment in induction and mentoring programs; and development of communities of professional teachers. Investing in competitive salaries is important; however, recruiting and keeping good teachers—both novice and experienced teachers—is equally a question of attending to key working conditions that matter to them.

Consider the following:

  • In addition to class size, teaching loads, and the availability of materials, factors contributing to teacher retention include teacher participation in decisionmaking, strong and supportive instructional leadership from principals, and collegial learning opportunities.
  • Seeking out and hiring better prepared teachers has many payoffs and savings in the long-run, both in terms of lower attrition and higher levels of competence.
  • Investing in induction and mentoring programs provides a pipeline of effective and satisfied teachers who are prepared to enter and stay in high-need schools.
  • Considering the high costs of attrition, many of the strategic investments needed to support competent teachers in staying, such as mentoring for beginners and ongoing learning and leadership challenges for veterans, pay for themselves in large degree.
  • Developing a stable, high-quality, teaching force that becomes increasingly effective creates a professional learning community that not only reduces teacher failure but also student failure.
  • Building the teaching profession to ensure quality teachers and learning for each student means paying teachers more but differently by reorganizing the school structure to create a tiered teaching profession that accommodates and rewards highly accomplished teachers who can manage and lead less experienced teachers.

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