Contact: Deirdre Conner, Director of Communications
(904) 345-0597 or Deirdre@jaxpef.org
For release 5:30 p.m., Monday, April 29, 2013
New research shows Duval County loses half of new teachers in five years
Jacksonville Public Education Fund policy brief looks at teacher retention, satisfaction
Jacksonville, Fla. - The Jacksonville Public Education Fund this afternoon released a new report that details the turnover among new teachers in Duval County Public Schools and the opinions of teachers themselves about what factors keep them in the classroom.
In "PATCHING THE PIPELINE:Addressing Teacher Satisfaction and Retention in Duval County," Jacksonville Public Education Fund researchers looked at the last five cohorts of new teachers in Duval County Public Schools, and also conducted a survey of teachers in the district to get their opinions about a wide variety of different factors.
The report is available for download online at www.jaxpef.org and includes additional interactive graphics featuring the voices of Duval County Public Schools teachers.
"In the ONE by ONE conversations, we learned that the community puts a high priority on the presence of great educators and leaders in our schools. But citizens and teachers feel that too often, educators are not asked for their perspective," said Trey Csar, President of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. "This is an important first step toward including teacher voices in the crucial conversation about how we can recruit and retain the best educators."
The survey found that teachers identified financial concerns and autonomy as key factors influencing whether or not they plan to remain in the profession. Other factors educators listed as incentives to remain in the classroom included more time for in-schedule planning and grading, and less time on administrative paperwork/responsibilities, which teachers estimated takes up 12 percent of their time.
The study also found that new teachers in Duval are paid less than in neighboring St. Johns and Clay counties. In addition to increasing pay, recommendations include streamlining non-instructional responsibilities, building increased opportunities for career advancement and strengthening teacher autonomy. Initiatives to address many of these are already under way within the district and could be aided through community support.
Teacher quality is the most important school-based factor affecting student achievement.
"Most great educators and leaders are not born. They, as this survey suggests, are made from environments where there is a balance between accountability and creativity, two-way communications and problem-solving, relevant and job-embedded professional development, and resources that support students," said Nikolai P. Vitti, Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools. "Our new strategic plan is built on these principles. With fewer compliance-based approaches and more aligned, and focused strategies, Duval County teachers will feel more empowered, confident, and supported, contributing to increased retention rates and leadership."
The policy brief was released at an event this evening featuring:
- Trey Csar, President of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund
- Nikolai P. Vitti, Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools
- Apryl Shackelford, 2013 Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year
- Scott Sowell, 2012 Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year
- Youmone Berrien, 2011 Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year
- Diana Rubin, third-year teacher and Teach for America alumna
Photos and video of the event are available upon request.
About the Jacksonville Public Education Fund
The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is an independent nonprofit organization that works to connect research with civic voice to bring about unified action in support of universally high-quality public schools for all children in Duval County. We believe that an informed and active citizenry, together with attentive and aligned community and district leadership, will move our schools forward to preparestudents with the skills they need for future success. For more information, visit www.jaxpef.org or call (904) 356-7757.