More than 40 percent of all teachers hired by the New York City school system in the 2012-13 school year left within five years, a report from the city comptroller’s office says.
In the report, “Teacher Residencies: Supporting the Next Generation of Teachers and Students," New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer is trying to call attention to the problem of teacher turnover in the nation’s largest public school system. The report says that of the 4,600 teachers hired in the 2012-13 school year, 1,882 had left the system by 2017-18.
Teachers leave their jobs for many reasons, the report says—overcrowded classrooms, lack of support from school or district administration, a desire to work in a more collaborative setting.
“Improving preparation for teachers before they enter the classroom is one area that can affect teacher retention,” the comptroller’s report asserts. “While other systemic problems related to working conditions will continue to need appropriate mitigation, preparing teachers well and paving the way for their success is an essential step in stemming the tide of teacher turnover.”
To combat the teacher exodus, Stringer is recommending that the city establish a paid teacher residency program that provides a full year of high-quality training in classrooms prior to teacher certification.
“When fully scaled, a teacher residency program would place 1,000 resident teachers in city schools each year, significantly improving the quality and stability of the teaching pipeline,” the report says. “A teacher residency program of this scale would represent the largest in the U.S. and send a signal that bold investment in education is required to support quality instruction in all classrooms.”
The comptroller’s office estimates that such a program would cost about $40 million a year.
“With a robust teacher residency program, New York City can prepare teachers for the real challenges of working in schools while reducing teacher turnover and its associated costs,” the report says.
“In a city with such huge disparities across schools, having a consistent pipeline of highly qualified and well-prepared teachers will help bring equity to the largest school system in the nation.”