by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Here is a must-read blog post from Chad Aldeman, Associate Partner for Policy and Thought Leadership at Bellwether Education Partners.
It may be tempting to conclude that the recent increases in the turnover rate are linked to policies adopted in North Carolina. There may be some of that going on—and indeed, if we asked the departing teachers, they would likely respond that Common Core or teacher evaluations or pension changes were part of their decision.
But the historical data offer another explanation, which is simply that teachers are not immune to broad economic trends. North Carolina teachers were less likely to leave their jobs in the wake of recessions in 2001-2 and 2007-9 than they were during other periods. At the same time, they became more willing to leave during economic expansions like at the end of the 1990s, the mid-2000s, and again today. This is the same pattern I saw in Colorado, and it’s the same pattern that shows up in the national data. We shouldn’t be surprised at this: Teachers are following the same broad economic trends that all other workers follow.
I do not expect liberal advocacy organizations to admit that “teachers are following the same broad economic trends that all other workers follow.”