Are the age of America’s Schools Encouraging Teachers to Leave?

Are the age of America’s Schools Encouraging Teachers to Leave?

According to research, forty-four (44) percent of all classroom teachers leave within five years. They are leaving almost as quickly as Schools of Education are graduating them. How much of a role do poor working conditions contribute to the educational exodus? Could it be that teacher prefer not to work in buildings that are too old, non-air conditioned, have floors which are collapsing, have water pipes where the water is full of contaminants, are not properly heated?

According to the Educational Writers Association, “in 1989, nearly half of the school building in America were obsolete and contained environmental hazards. In President Clinton’s 1997 State of the Union Address, he stated, “ We cannot expect our children to raise themselves up in schools that are literally falling down….This has now become a serious national concern.’

Data from the Fast Response Survey System (FRSS) conducted by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), stated that in 1998, the average school building was built in 1956- 63 years ago. About 28 percent of the schools in the  country were built before 1950 and 45 percent of all public schools were built between 1950 and 1969.  The oldest schools are in the Northeast or Central regions of the country. America’s oldest schools serve a higher percentage of children living in poverty with children eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

My new book, Who Will Teach the Children? Recruiting, Retaining & Refreshing Highly Effective Educators addresses why teachers are leaving and proposes solutions to stop the educational exodus.