Why is the Golden LEAF Educational Consortium needed?
Teacher shortage is a problem throughout the United States. North Carolina’s average teacher attrition rate has hung at 13 percent annually. A number of school systems in North Carolina experienced even higher attrition rates of 20-30 percent each year, while school level attrition rate averaged 20-25 percent (Cox, 2004). Figures from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), the union representing New York Public School Teachers indicate that 19-25 percent of new teachers leave the system within one year of being hired. Forty-two percent of teachers leave within three years. Teachers are leaving the profession especially during the first five years of their teaching experience. According to theTennessee Tomorrow, Inc. , 42 percent of new teachers will leave the teaching profession in Tennessee in the first five years of a career. The statistics on teacher attrition show that one-third of the new teachers nationwide leave the profession within five years. One-fifth of new teachers nationwide leave the profession within three years. Almost one-tenth of new teachers nationwide leave the profession within the first year. Even higher attrition rates exist in more disadvantaged districts (Fox & Certo, 2000). Different states are looking at this problem and trying to address it in many different ways.
The intervention of the Golden LEAF Educational Consortium has made a positive impact on the retention rate of the initial cohort (Cohort 1) of new teachers participating in the project that began in 2002. Although a number of studies have found as many as 50 percent of new teachers leave within the first 5 years of entry into the occupation (e.g., Huling, Austin, 1990; Ingersoll & Smith, 2003; Murnane, Singer, Willett, Kemple, & Olsen, 1991). After three years, 69 percent of the initial cohort (Cohort 1) still remain in the eight school systems (GLEC, 2005).