The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement released interesting data on teacher retention in Georgia, showing the exodus out of the classroom is not that great.
The GOSA report includes teachers who leave the profession but return to the classroom later or take other education jobs. That broader view shows many more teachers staying in the field than had been assumed.
“This analysis is important because its findings clearly refute the long-held notion that half of Georgia’s teachers leave the profession within five years,” said GOSA executive director Kathleen Mathers. “Instead, by appropriately broadening the definition of retention, we’ve learned that nearly 75 percent of Georgia’s new teachers remain in public education after five years.”
The report used Georgia public school employment data from 1998-2009. Among the findings:
–Of teachers who began teaching when they were less than 26 years old, nonwhite teachers and male teachers had higher retention rates than white and female teachers. Nonwhite teachers who left teaching were more than twice as likely to return to a professional role in public education as white teachers.
–Nearly 73 percent of teachers in Georgia’s rural school districts remained in public education after 10 years, while teachers in urban and suburban districts outside of metro Atlanta persisted in teaching at a rate of nearly 66 percent, and teachers in the 20-county metro Atlanta area persisted at nearly 59 percent.
–Approximately 72 percent of new math and science teachers remained in public education after five years, compared with the nearly 75 percent of all new Georgia teachers.
“This analysis, which used actual Georgia employment data, suggests that Georgia teachers are staying in our schools for longer and in greater numbers than many people commonly assume,” said Eric Wearne, GOSA’s deputy director. “Also, many teachers are returning to our schools after brief stints away, possibly at home with small children or in graduate school. Both of these results indicate that Georgia is an attractive place to work in education.”