Teacher Retention and Mobility Trends in Washington

A 2017 report published by the University of Washington describes teacher retention and mobility in Washington.
Here are some selected findings as found in this report:
  • From one year to the next, on average 84% of all teachers statewide are retained in their same school, 7% move to another school within the district, and 2% change districts. Trend data over the last ten years shows that less than 7% of the workforce leaves in any given year, though there is some variation. 
  • The majority of beginning teachers (on average 71%) stay in their school from one year to the next, 11% move within the district and 7% move out of district. On average, 12% exit the workforce in the following year. 
  • Nearly 60% of Washington teachers are located in the same school after five years, and this retention rate has changed little in nearly 15 years. Of the remaining teachers, 14% move to other schools within their district and 7% relocate to another district within the state. Approximately 20% of teachers exit the workforce after five years, and many of these teachers are of retirement age. 
  • Across 4 five-year time periods examined, the retention rate of beginning teachers (those with less than one year of experience), in the same school ranged between 42% and 47%. A higher proportion of beginning teachers move within and out of their districts, as compared to all teachers statewide. However, the rate of beginning teachers exiting the Washington workforce has declined in the most recent five­-year period to a low of 21%, similar to all teachers statewide. 
  • While the statewide portrait reveals considerable stability, the rates of teacher retention and mobility for individual districts often vary considerably. In a sample of 10 districts with student enrollment above 10,000, the percent of teachers who stayed in their same schools after five years ranged from 45% to 62%. 

Recruiting, Selecting, and Retaining Teachers

In 2016, Scontrino-Powell, Inc. prepared a literature review for PESB on Recruiting, Selecting, and Retaining Teachers
  • Recruitment: This report describes the fundamental concepts that effective recruitment practices are built upon and identifies best practices that have been shown to identify and attract new teachers.
  • Selection: This report describes several practices that have been shown to improve the quality of teacher selection and identifies various selection tools and assessments.
  • Retention: This report describes the induction and orientation activities that have been shown to increase retention rates and identifies the key drivers of teacher turnover.
Scontrino-Powell, Inc. also produced an HR Training Strategy for delivering training on teacher recruitment, teacher selection, and teacher induction to Washington school districts. This training is currently under development. 

Limited Certificates

The number of employed teachers holding limited certificates is on the rise. PESB recently conducted a survey of educators with limited certificates to identify potential opportunities to engage these teachers in programs to earn full certification.