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The topic that I would like to explore as my political issue is the teacher turnover rate in charter schools. The reasons teachers seek employment at charters and consequently resign from their positions is a trending behavior in the field of education today. I would like to know what information or studies already exist about the topic? Also, what measures can be put in place to offset this issue?

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In order to improve conditions and current practices present tends must be dissected. The constant cycling of teachers in and out of charter schools/ public schools is detrimental to both students as well as the community the school is serving as a whole.  Teacher tunover rates within charter schools is an ever evaling issue. Turnover will be defined as voluntary and involuntary dismissal from profession and mobility between schools.



 It is important to fist detail how to identify a political Issue.

(Stout, Tallerio, & Scribner, 1994, p.5) notes “Patterns of interaction through which values are allotted for a society and these allocations are accepted…such issues are likely to destroy a society.

The political issue is the teacher turnover rates in charter schools. The issue effects society as a whole. The reasons teachers seek employment at charters and consequently resign from their positions is a trending behavior in the field of education today. The information presented is that collected from personal experience in addition to research. The research detailed information or studies which already exist in reference to the topic.

To begin, the role that politics play in the issue is evident, along with stakeholders’ relevance to the topic. Charter schools largely are populated with young teachers as faculty members. Teachers in charter schools in my experience are most often 1st year teachers. Teachers whom have more experience usually is because they come from a background of charter schools or they have remained at the same charter school for several years. The years of experience matter, the more years a teacher has the more they have to in turn be paid. Individuals apart of teacher fellowships or the Teach for America Program are more cost efficient to employ. The backgrounds and experience of the teachers vary, along with their personal effectiveness in the classroom.





Specific Catagories  Noting Teacher Turnover

Charter School teachers may leave the teaching profession or move between schools at a higher rate than their counterparts at traditional schools. ”The odds of charter school teachers leaving the profession versus staying in the same school were 130% greater than odds of a charter school teacher moving to another school were 76% greater”  (Stuit & Smith, 2010, p.1). Charter school teachers are on average younger that teachers in traditional  schools, which makes it more likely to change schools or switch professions.  “The odds of an uncertified teacher leaving the profession were 200 % greater than those of certified teachers, and part-time teachers were found to be twice as likely to leave teaching as th eir full time peers” (Stuit & Smith, 2010, p. 2).


Dimensions of the issues (Players create the dimension):


Each of the parties are directly influenced by teacher turnover rates. Each subgroup has its own personal interest on the topic matter regarding how it affects them individually.


Administrators- Gain with cheap labor. They have authority and resources to control the system. Administrators maintain the notion that in order “ to influence the direction of social change and public thinking by providing financial support to projects and organizations” (Stout, Tallerio, & Scribner, 1994, p.97). All members that invested in the schools success should have equal access to participation and decision making arenas.


Parents- Enroll their students in charter schools on the premise that they are receiving a better education than if enrolled in a public school. Zero consistency for family.


Students- I believe this issue effects the students the most and they are at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to having a voice. Students deserve teachers with strong academic backgrounds on their core content subject matter. Students need consistency and the  same daily routines with the same teachers.



Student Interview:

Student attends Lighthouse Academy:

Grade: 11th currently

Student has been attending Lighthouse since 4th grade, before Lighthouse was a College Prep. Academy.


Ms. Fulgham: What are your thoughts about teachers leaving yearly are our school and not staying for long periods of time.

(Student was able to talk freely about their hands on experience with the specified issue.)

Student: Throughout my time at lighthouse I have had so many different teachers I really am unable to count the number. I can remember my 8th grade year I had a total of 3 different math teachers during one school year. It just makes it hard to first learn when teachers who are the adults leave and I still have to learn specific information that becomes lost with different teachers teaching different ways.


Personal Experience:

The topic of teacher turnover rates in charter schools interests me for several reasons, one being that I work at a charter school myself. This school year is my third year teaching and is my third year of being a part of the Lighthouse faculty. Over a short three year span I have witnessed many teachers come and go. What are some specific common predictors of teachers vacating their positions at charter schools? If the causes can be analyzed, then perhaps information yielded by the analysis can deter low teacher retention rates. Another point is that charter schools are full inclusion, so students with special needs are in general education classes daily. General education teachers face a certain pressure to appropriately instruct and interact with the special need students. The students are lacking consistency which is needed in a structured environment like a classroom. Students begin to feel like no one cares about their success and so they act out accordingly. Students begin to push back against the system when they see instability.



Before I began this project I thought that teacher retention was a personal concern that I developed working at my charter school. However, researching opened my eyes to the discussions happening globally over the issue. I was able to gather new information and confirm some personal thoughts I had. The small parts of the issue should be evaluated first in order to combat the issue. The first small part would be the teachers themselves. The teacher should be anomalously interviewed, the teachers are choosing to resign or not return, WHY? Ask them!


The clip offers a simple solution work toward increasing teacher retention at charter schools.

I hope you enjoyed the book and it was informative.