Far too many teachers leaving the profession, new report finds

An increasing number of Michigan teachers are leaving the profession, according to a new report from Bridge Magazine — and they’re doing so in large part due to a lack of professional support and respect.

According to Bridge, about 10 percent of teachers leave in their first year, and up to 40 percent leave within four years.

As Michigan continues to divest in public education, more and more new teachers are entering the profession without the supports needed to succeed on the job. At the same time, school employees’ performance is being constantly attacked by so-called “reformers.” Throw in the continued assault on school employees’ wages, benefits and collective bargaining rights, and it’s easy to see how working in public education has become an increasingly thankless occupation.

At the end of the day, Michigan students suffer from high teacher turnover.

The problem is exacerbated in high-poverty school districts, which according to Bridge are more than twice as likely to have inexperienced teachers compared with their wealthier counterparts. The result, according to Bridge, is that “the kids who are most in need of experienced teachers are the least likely to get them.”

“We lose so many good teachers because they sense that it’s not worth it,” Susan Melnick of Michigan State University’s College of Education told Bridge. “How long is it going to take before we realize we are throwing away generations of kids?”

Read the full report here.