Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Research: Attracting New Teachers to Urban Schools

New research led by Tony Milanowski of the University of Wisconsin-Madison provides more evidence that increasing teacher pay may not be the best approach to attract new teachers to high-need, hard-to-staff urban schools. A key finding of the study -- published in the International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership -- which explored job factors important to pre-service educators was that "working conditions factors, especially principal support, had more influence on simulated job choice than pay level."

'Policy implications' include:
  • "[M]oney might be better spent to attract, retain, or train better principals than to provide higher beginning salaries to teachers in schools with high-poverty or a high proportion of students of color."
  • "[I]nduction programs and curricular flexibility are important to new teachers. The finding that induction programs are attractive, combined with evidence that such programs can be
    effective in reducing teacher turnover (e.g., Ingersoll and Kralick, 2004; Smith and Ingersoll, 2004), suggests that urban districts may want to implement high-qualityinduction and mentoring programs, especially for new teachers in schools with high proportions of poor students or students of color."