Study says school culture ranks higher than salaries for teachers

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

The Education Trust released a new report on keeping good teachers in the classroom. The findings — that culture and work conditions matter a lot — remind me of an interview I did years ago with University of Pennsylvania professor Richard Ingersoll, a national expert on teacher turnover and retention.

According to Ingersoll, 40 percent of new teachers nationwide bolt the profession within five years because of the terrible working conditions. To keep teachers, Georgia has to improve the teaching experience, he said.

Ingersoll said teacher turnover was worst at schools with high numbers of student discipline problems and where teachers have no input into how the school is run. “Teachers feel they are being held accountable for things they don’t control, ” he told me.

While higher pay would help, Ingersoll also said, “Look, I am a former high school teacher. I would still be doing it, even with the low pay. But it was all the other stuff — the discipline problems, the lack of support and the lack of say — that made me leave

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