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Why New Teachers Quit

Former CMS Educators Tell Their Stories and Offer Solutions



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Issue 2: Turnover in Equity Plus schools is higher than other schools.

Proposed strategy 1: Pilot the Milken Foundation's Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) which establishes differentiated pay for levels of expertise and provides professional development. Cost: $1,458,624.

Proposed strategy 2: Increase the number of full-time mentors in Equity Plus schools. Cost: $972,570.

Proposed strategy 3: Continue to assess and revise grant initiatives and replicate successful practices as appropriate. Cost: N/A

Proposed strategy 4: Interview and assess effective retention strategies of Equity Plus school principals who produce low turnover. Cost: Funded by CAFE.

Issue 3: Licensure deficiencies caused the largest number of separations in the Teacher Turnover Report for 2002-03.

Proposed Strategy 1: Continue to advocate a legislative agenda that supports reasonable standards for new teachers and out of state candidates. Cost: N/A.

Proposed Strategy 2: Pursue the American Board licensure passport (Spring 2003) and the development of a CMS alternative entry program. Cost: TBD.

Proposed Strategy 3: Implement case manager plan for monitoring the licensure status and support of provisionally licensed and/or lateral entry teachers. Cost: $110,628.

Proposed Strategy 4: Pay for PRAXIS testing if it is completed by the 1st semester. Cost: $128,330.

Issue 4: Lateral entry teachers are under pressure to complete costly coursework in a limited period of time.

Proposed Strategy: Provide voluntary 2-233k Boot Camp for lateral entry teacher prior to the start of school. Cost: $10,000.

Issue 5: Data available for analysis needs to be disaggregated thoroughly and on a regular basis in order to consistently implement effective strategies.

Proposed Strategy: Hire a data analyst for continuous quality/process improvement. Cost: $61,076.

Issue 6: Teacher recognition efforts are limited to small CMS initiatives and several external programs.

Proposed Strategy: CMS Teacher of the Year event with corporate sponsors. Cost: TBD

Teachers' Plan for Retention

This plan was produced by consulting with a number of present and former CMS teachers. We asked for a response to these ideas from CMS, which are included here.

Total Estimated Cost: $952,800 (not including one strategy to be determined).

Issue 1: Teachers do not have adequate time to relax or to finish all their work.

Proposed Strategy 1: Stop requiring teachers to put their lesson plans into a set format on paper. Cost: N/A

CMS Response: "Focused lesson plans allow teachers to plan and prepare for the instructional day. They also serve as a measurement tool for what has been covered with students in the North Carolina Course of Study."

Proposed Strategy 2: Enlist police to perform lunch and bus duties to give teachers more planning and lunchtime. Cost: Could be funded by the Police Dept.

CMS Response: None given

Proposed Strategy 3: Provide a clerical staff member in each middle and high school responsible for making copies, entering grades into a computer system, and making phone calls regarding minor matters if needed. Cost: $940,000 (one employee at each of the 47 schools at $20,000 a year).

CMS Response: "At this time, budgetary constraints would not allow CMS to provide additional clerical staff at the middle and high school level."

Issue 2: Teachers do not feel enough support from administrators.

Proposed Strategy 1: Train and direct administrators to discipline more strictly, promptly, and consistently. Cost: N/A

CMS Response: "The district's Rights and Responsibilities handbook is designed to provide fair and consistent discipline throughout the district. This handbook clearly outlines the consequences associated with various behaviors. The expectation of the district is that every administrator will follow this handbook."

Proposed Strategy 2: Make it mandatory for every teacher to evaluate his/her administrators, with rewards and penalties for the results. Cost: $12,800 (same as CMS's proposed surveys)

CMS Response: "A teacher survey is already administered within CMS. This survey is used as part of the principal's evaluation."

Issue 3: New teachers are bombarded and burn out early.

Proposed Strategy 1: Ensure that new teachers receive the smaller, better behaved classes in order to prepare for more challenging students and situations down the road. Cost: N/A.

CMS Response: "It is important for teachers to receive a balance of students and to develop the skills necessary to teach every child. Mentors within the district provide support to new teachers and assist them with the skills needed to teach all children."

Proposed Strategy 2: Give new teachers the option of attending in-services or working in their classrooms. Cost: N/A

CMS Response: "In order for new teachers to enhance the quality of their instructional programming in the classroom, it is important for them to attend professional development opportunities. These in-service opportunities are designed by the district's curriculum and instruction office to support new teachers in the classroom."

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