Seven Facts About Teacher Retention During the First Five Years

Apples scattered on a table

1. After 3 years, 1/3 of new teachers leave the field; after 5 years, almost half of new teachers have left. (Source: U.S. Department of Education)

2. In inner city schools, 1/2 of new teachers quit within 3 years. (Source: U.S. Department of Education)

3. “Students in (Washington D.C.’s) poorest neighborhoods are nearly twice as likely to have a new or second-year teacher as those in the wealthiest… The concentration of new teachers in low-income communities is ‘remarkably consistent’ across the nation.” (Source: Washington Post Monday, April 27, 2009, “Poor Neighborhoods, Untested Teachers.)

4. Approximately 1,000 U.S. teachers quit each day. (Source:

5. “Thousands of dollars walk out the door each time a teacher leaves.” According to a recent study by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, the costs of training, recruiting, and replacing teacher-leavers reached as high as $17,872 in some districts. (Source: National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, “Cost of Teacher Turnover in Five School Districts”)

6. Teacher attrition costs the US over seven billion dollars each year. (Source: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education)

7. Beginning teachers go through several distinct phases during their first years on the job. The hardest part of the year for most teachers is the “disillusionment” phase, which usually begins in October and can last until winter break. (Source: The New Teacher Center)

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