More on the NC Teacher Turnover Report by the Media – #NCED #NCGA

Yesterday, Lt. Governor Dan Forest released a video highlighting important information Narrative keanuwhich the media in North Carolina has been remiss in reporting on.

The media mantra has been along the lines that teachers are leaving in droves to teach out-of-state and subsequent commentary about teacher pay.

What the media has failed to report is that this report includes teachers who retired, changed jobs within education in our state and those who were dismissed.

A good example of this media spin is the fantastical comparison used recently by WUNC:

“It shows 1,082 of the state’s teachers left for classrooms in other parts of the country last year. That’s more than triple the number that left for other states in 2010.”

That looks dramatic, doesn’t it? Yes, that exit number has gone up each year over the few years. So has the number of teachers remaining in the state.

First remember, there were 96,651 teachers in North Carolina in 2010, and the current report has a teacher population of  96,081. That’s a population difference of 570 less in the current year’s report.

The number leaving to teach out-of-state in 2010-11 was 312.  But what WUNC doesn’t include is that in 2010, 1,522 stayed in North Carolina to teach in another school.

In the 2014-15 report, the number leaving for out-of-state  is indeed 1,082, however the number staying in North Carolina to teach in another school is 4,492. That’s nearly triple the rate of teachers staying in 2010.

Watch the video:

Key take-aways:

  • The true turnover rate is not 14.8%, but 6.8%.
  • Of that media reported 14.8%, 4.7% “left” to teach in another North Carolina school.
  • 2.3% retired with full benefits, meaning they were of age or had enough time in the system to do so.
  • 1% did not have contracts renewed.
  • Only 1,028 teachers actually left to teach in other states. That’s out of over 96,000 teachers, or around 1%.
  • The video cites the NEA’s own statistics, which says that North Carolina is far below the average national teacher turnover rate.
  • The Lt. Governor also addresses the narrative that teachers are leaving for Texas. Teachers in the state of Texas are leaving at a rate of 19%.

What the video doesn’t mention is that leaving to teach in another state wasn’t even in the top 5 reasons for 2014-15, nor was it in the top five for the previous school year.

In fact, looking over the last decade’s worth of turnover reports, it would appear that leaving to teach in another state has not been a top reason and as a percentage this reason has remained at or below 1%, just like this year.

It is worth noting that DPI reclassified ‘leaving to teach in another state’ from the “Turnover but remained in education” category  to the “Turnover for Personal Reasons” category as of their 2012-13 turnover report.

It will be interesting to see the 2015-16 report, given that the legislature kept their promise and have increased entry pay from $33k to $35k, reinstated the step-pay schedules that the democrats and Governor Perdue froze during her tenure.

In addition, the legislature increased the education budget again, this time by $350 million and also created a tax deduction for teachers they can take advantage of when buying supplies.

Related Reading:

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
This entry was posted in A.P. Dillon (LL1885), EDUCATION, Media Bias, NC DPI and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to More on the NC Teacher Turnover Report by the Media – #NCED #NCGA

  1. Pingback: Teacher Turnover For the Math Challenged | Lady Liberty 1885

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  4. Anngie says:

    I haven’t looked at the details of your state’s report, but do you know if they have identified any “solutions” to filling positions in specific areas where there are noticeable shortages? Our Board of Ed is struggling with that now. The most common problem is finding science teachers to teach in the very rural or hard core urban districts. The Board seems to think the union will never allow them to offer incentive pay to such teachers to take those jobs. That leaves either the equivalent of scholarships or signing bonuses to get teachers right out of university to go to these districts, like the American tribes did to get doctors from their own ranks to agree to work on the reservations, or some convoluted plan to pay districts the incentive to loan teachers to needy districts.


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