Studies have suggested that between 20 to 40 percent of teachers leave the profession in their first five years (Darling-Hammond & Sykes, 2003; Gray & Taie, 2015; Ingersoll 2003). Turnover tends to be higher in urban districts and schools serving students from historically marginalized communities. Increased teacher turnover is particularly problematic given the growing evidence that attrition harms schools, teachers, and students (Boyd, Lankford, Loeb, & Wyckoff, 2005; Ronfeldt, Loeb, and Wyckoff, 2013). The pandemic could intensify this problem given that the number of teachers reporting frequent job-related stress, symptoms of depression, and interest in careers outside of education have increased in recent years (Steiner and Woo, 2021).

Given the (a) high rates of early career teacher turnover, (b) increased likelihood of attrition amid the pandemic, and (c) harmful effect of turnover on student achievement, it is important to gauge early career teachers’ future career plans and consider how professional supports offered in the first five years might influence these teachers to remain in the classroom. The Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Charter School Office (CSO) has partnered with Basis Policy Research to survey early career teachers working across 76 authorized schools to better understand their professional experiences and how these inform career decisions. Insights from this report will help the CSO provide tailored support to schools that better meet the needs of teachers most likely to leave profession.

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