School districts are not retaining their best teachers as well as they should be, and as a result, the strongest teachers are just as likely as weak teachers to leave their schools after five years, says “The Irreplaceables,” a study by the New Teacher Project released on Monday.
According to the report, the nation’s 50 largest school districts lose 10,000 of these high-performing – “irreplaceable” – teachers every year, while one in 10 classrooms is still led by an experienced, but low-performing teacher.
The study also found that two-thirds of the best teachers had not been asked to stay at their schools by the principal, but also that principals rarely asked weak teachers to leave.
The New Teacher Project recommends teacher merit pay and better evaluations systems, as well as an evaluation of principals and how well they retain their best teachers.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott applauded the findings, releasing a joint statement:
“The study released today by TNTP – and which New York City participated in – confirms that school districts across the country must do more to keep great teachers in our classrooms. That’s exactly why we have offered to add a $20,000 annual stipend to the salaries of teachers who are rated highly effective for two consecutive years.
"Earlier this month, President Obama also outlined a bold plan to pay exceptional teachers an annual stipend. Unfortunately, the United Federation of Teachers continues to stand in the way of these incentives, which New York City public school teachers deserve. It’s time for the union to work with us so that our irreplaceable teachers can take full advantage of these and other opportunities.”
In response, Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers – which opposes merit pay and – shot back with criticism of the mayor, according to the New York Daily News.
“It’s a shame that the mayor, who thinks merit pay is the solution to every problem, has chosen to ignore one of this report’s central findings — that poor school cultures and working conditions drive away great teachers,’” Mulgrew said.