Evaluation and Support

Retention and Tenure

School districts need to keep their effective teachers. Better pay certainly helps and so does providing more career advancement opportunities that allow teachers to stay in the classroom. The first step is to cultivate a school environment that values excellence and where great teachers can thrive as they work alongside each other.

A Word from Kate Walsh

There are still too few examples of school districts approaching initial tenure decision and annual teacher evaluations with the commitment needed to identify and recognize genuine teaching talent. Even fewer provide higher pay to those superstar teachers who clearly stand out and who serve as role models for all teachers. But it’s not just a problem of pay that causes teachers to leave the profession. Good teachers, just like any professional, want to work with other good teachers in schools that have high standards. They will inevitably seek leadership opportunities but often find that the only ones available take them away from doing what they do best: teaching.

Get the facts on teacher retention.

Teacher retention is more complicated than just one statistic.

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Make tenure meaningful.

Tenure remains a missed opportunity in many districts. It’s the ideal time for districts to decide which teachers merit what is for them essentially a $2 million investment over career and retirement. Yet only nine states require districts to base tenure decisions preponderantly on evidence of effectiveness.

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Give teachers opportunities to lead.

Teachers, like all professionals, want opportunities to expand their responsibilities and take on new challenges. Offering career pathways to teachers outside of becoming an administrator can make teaching an attractive, long-term career.

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Districts leading the way:

School districts that keep an eye toward retaining their best teachers use a variety of policies to ensure teachers like where they work and want to stay. Visit the Great Districts for Great Teachers website to learn more. 

Great Districts for Great Teachers

Teachers want to feel recognized for their work.

But traditional step and lane salary schedules based only on years of experience and education level make it harder to reward those teachers who are having the biggest impact on student learning.

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