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Rapid turnover is a problem

December 10, 2006 am31 1:20 am

Maybe this is too obvious to write, but here goes anyhow.

High teacher turnover hurts the schools, the kids, and (esp. imp from my POV) the UFT (my union).

Median years of service for New York City public school teachers has been asserted to be 5 years (for several years now). I suspect the real number has dipped closer to 4.

New teachers are generally less effective teachers. Sometimes they seem to bring more energy, but that does not guarantee the energy is usefully expended. It takes time, several years, for teachers to become very effective. When teachers leave our system quickly, they give their ineffective years to City kids, but not their effective years.

High turnover hurts the union.
1. Newer teachers are often afraid to assert their rights. They become targets for administrative abuse, especially in schools where the union is already weak.
2. Schools with only new teachers may effectively lack a union on the ground.
3. Newer teachers often come into the profession with the thought patterns of a young professional, or even a manager. It takes time these days for new teachers to understand the importance of teacher unionism.

Combatting high turnover would help build the UFT and improve education in NYC.

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