The best way to retain good teachers
Keeping the best teachers in the classroom requires a more comprehensive plan than the oft-used, yet naive and unsuccessful, “just fire the bad ones” strategy. Both The Post’s Aug. 17 editorial “Letting good teachers get away” on the New Teacher Project’s report on teacher retention and the report itself ignored the things that teachers consistently say they need to make teaching a long-term career, not a short-term job: evaluations that include regular feedback and continuous professional development (which have yielded positive outcomes where they are in place); resources to help them do their jobs and help all students learn; collaboration and shared responsibility among teachers, administrators and the community; safe and vibrant schools; and effective parental engagement.
Until lawmakers, school officials and others talk and work with teachers to fully understand what is required to retain great educators, we’ll continue to have the expensive turnover crisis, in which more than half of all new teachers leave within their first five years and other frustrated teachers, who have so much to offer our students, give up and quit.
Randi Weingarten, Washington
The writer is president of the American Federation of Teachers.