State Education Looks to Improve Staff Retention

Tough conditions cause teacher turnover


Data and images from learning

The numbers for schools in Md. are not great overall as the jobs and the equity for students rank as some of the lowest in the country.

Zhubin Bashiri, Reporter

In a forever changing world in which education is becoming ever more so important, why is it that the teachers in Md. are leaving?

Some experts point out that instruction is often not the only role of teachers. Many teachers are also having to raise their students as many students come in with rowdy behavior and undisciplined .

“They leave because it is impossible to teach students, comply with a daunting load of state and local mandates, and at the same time step into a parenting  role,” retired teacher Anne Spigelmire Groth said in The Baltimore Sun. “It cannot be done. Unmanageable student behavior is overwhelming.”

The Learning Policy Institute (LPI), a research organization connected to Stanford University, published many reports and studies based on teacher attrition and other professional issues. Maryland is the worst grouping for job attractiveness, “indicating how supportive it appears to be of teacher recruitment and retention”, and for teacher equity, “indicating the extent to which students, in particular students of color, are assigned uncertified or inexperienced teachers”.

A 2012 school culture survey found that almost 90% of teachers at schools with strong instructional cultures feel that their school sets high standards for students compared to only 50% of teachers at low-performing schools.

“This kind of thinking overlooks the fact that often the behavior is so deeply rooted it will take years of psychotherapy to unravel, and treatment requires an investment of time,” Groth added.

The cost of teacher attrition or the cost of hiring new teachers per year in just Baltimore city and Prince George’s county in 2007 was estimated to be between $19-$23 million respectively. The site also pointed out that statewide the cost may be around $100 million per year. Teacher attrition disproportionally affects low-income and minority schools in Maryland.

The state government must figure out how to retain good teachers and improve the overall education Md. teens and children.