The Huffington Post (3/22, Resmovits) reports on the recent MetLife survey of US teachers showing that "job satisfaction within the profession is at its lowest since the Reagan years," noting that students "face a new economic reality that requires a new set of skills," but "might have disaffected teachers carrying them there." The Post reports that teachers attribute their declining morale to "intense scrutiny from parents, school boards, the media and politicians to increase test scores -- and justify their very positions -- but have, at the same time, been asked to do much more with way less. The recession eroded education funding, taking with it school counselors, teacher aides and the feeling of job security that used to come along with the pencils and books in entering the profession."
Stephen Sawchuk writes at the Education Week (3/22) "Teacher Beat" blog that according to a new study presented at a Center for Longitudinal Data in Education Research conference, "when teachers leave schools, overall morale appears to suffer enough that student achievement declines-both for those taught by the departed teachers and by students whose teachers stayed put. ... The impact of teacher turnover is one of the teacher-quality topics that's been hard for researchers to get their arms around. ... But a couple years back, two researchers did an analysis that showed, counter-intuitively, it's actually the less- effective teachers, rather than the more- effective ones, who tend to leave schools with a high concentration of low-achieving, minority students," raising the question of whether such turnover could be good for schools. The new research refutes this assertion, Sawchuk writes.