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Teacher turnover is significantly higher in hard-to-staff schools, and it is costly. Not only are billions of dollars spent annually to recruit and train new teachers, but students who are denied the best education possible often enter the workforce at a disadvantage. The problem demands strategies that work. This report identifies examples and makes recommendations for policies and programs that have been proven effective: (1) Establishing and maintaining safe and orderly schools, including developing school safety plans and enforcing statewide discipline codes; (2) Targeting professional development to best address the needs of teachers and staff in challenging environments, like strong induction programs, teacher collaboration and effective learning opportunities; (3) Examining recruitment and hiring practices; and (4) Identifying and carrying out school district and state responsibilities, particularly in terms of funding for salaries, incentives and other school improvements. In addition to reviewing and, if necessary, revising selection procedures, including notifications policies and candidate screening, the report recommends improving recruitment through better marketing of the benefits of teaching in hard-to-staff schools. The following are appended: (1) AFT Resolution on Recruiting and Retaining Teachers in Hard-to-Staff Schools (approved by the Executive Council on May 16, 2007); and (2) Supportive Contract Language. (Contains 11 figures and 23 endnotes.)

Descriptors: Teacher Collaboration, Faculty Mobility, Teacher Persistence, School Safety, Teacher Recruitment, Teacher Administrator Relationship, Faculty Development, Beginning Teacher Induction, Program Effectiveness, Educational Finance, Teaching Conditions

American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; Web site:

Autor: American Federation of Teachers


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