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Research: New Hires May Be Staying Longer

In the reversal of a trend, teachers hired during the Great Recession may be sticking it out in classrooms longer than those hired just a few years before that, according to data released today.

The data, which first appeared in The Wall Street Journal, is part of an update of an earlier project identifying seven trends in the composition of the teaching force, headed up by University of Pennsylvania researcher Richard Ingersoll. In general, it finds that the teaching profession is simultaneously growing older as baby boomers enter their 60s; younger and less stable as retention rates fall; more female; and more diverse (though nowhere near as diverse as the K-12 student population).

The updated data, from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, show that in 2007-08, the "mode" of teachers' experience level—or the most common figure—was just one year. By 2011-12, it was five years, which suggests that those teachers hired during the lean recession times are staying longer. 

It's hard to know what exactly is driving this notable pattern. Surely tight job markets must be one factor. On the other hand, the profession has undergone many, many changes of late, including shifts in performance evaluations, pension plans, and collective bargaining rights, many of them controversial.

The WSJ's Stephanie Banchero has a nice discussion for you on all of this, so be sure to check it out.

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