High-need schools almost always have a greater proportion of new teachers because turnover is incredibly high and vacant positions are filled with a fresh crop of inexperienced teachers who are not immediately highly effective. This cycle will continue until there is a paradigm shift focusing on retaining teachers. The D.C. Council and TTI proposals do not address this cycle.
Both proposals give teachers large sums of money to transfer
to high-need schools, not to stay and perform well
in high-need schools. The TTI report offered a monetary incentive of $20,000 over two years for teaching in a low-achieving school. What happens after those two years when the monetary incentive is no longer there or if the teacher has not lived up to expectations? Both proposals fail to acknowledge turnover and that teachers' high performance might not automatically transfer between schools.
The stressors of working in a high-need school will remain for the foreseeable future, so strong proposals must link the incentive to a minimum time commitment to ensure truly highly effective teachers stay put. Furthermore, teachers earning the incentive must continue to demonstrate effective teaching, otherwise their presence may not benefit students. Until there is more data on retention rates and performance evaluations of highly effective transfers, initiatives like TTI are not worth further stretching school budgets.