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Document Number: 4908

Is There Really a Teacher Shortage? - This report summarizes research investigating the possibility that there are other factors behind school staffing problems besides a shortage of teachers. Using data from the Schools and Staffing Survey and its supplement, the Teacher Followup Survey, conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, the authors find school staffing problems are primarily due to a "revolving door" where large numbers of qualified teachers depart their jobs for reasons other than retirement. The data show that the amount of turnover accounted for by retirement is relatively minor compared to other factors such as teacher job dissatisfaction and teachers pursuing other jobs. This report concludes: these issues must be addressed, and teacher recruitment programs alone will not solve the staffing problem. (Richard M. Ingersoll, Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy, The Consortium for Policy Research in Education, September 2003)...

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