High turnover reported among charter school teachers
With so many charter school teachers moving on each year, concerns arise about retaining quality educators and how stability affects student performance.
By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
July 25, 2011
In the instant of a job change, Joshua Cook went from being one of the youngest teachers at Crenshaw High, a traditional school in Hyde Park, to nearly the oldest at Animo Justice, a charter school south of downtown Los Angeles.
He was 32, with two years of teaching experience.
Three years later, he had another distinction: He became one of the astonishingly large numbers of teachers who left a Los Angeles charter school.
Around 50% of teachers in charter middle and high schools left their jobs each year over a six-year period studied by UC Berkeley researchers, who released their findings last week.
Charter schools are independently operated and free from some restrictions that govern traditional schools, including the need to abide by a school system's union contracts. Many charter schools can boast of committed families and enrollment waiting lists. And many produce high test scores compared with nearby traditional schools.
The Berkeley study didn't track why teachers departed — it counts them whether they left on good terms or bad, content or burned out, leaving a school temporarily or permanently quitting the