Giving Compass' Take:
- Findings from the 2023 State of the American Teacher Survey shed light on the current issues in the education profession.
- How can this research help inform education policy? What role can donors play in supporting educators?
- Learn more about issues in education systems here.
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Although well-being appears to have improved for many public school teachers of kindergarten to grade 12 (K–12) since the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, in some states, more teachers left their jobs at the end of the 2021–2022 school year than in the two previous school years and at rates higher than prepandemic averages. When teachers leave their jobs, student achievement can suffer, and the cost of replacing teachers can be high.
The authors describe the roles that salary and work hours play in teachers' intentions to leave their jobs and how these factors relate to teacher well-being. The research indicates that teacher dissatisfaction with hours worked, salary, and working conditions appears to drive poor well-being and lead teachers to consider leaving their jobs. In addition, recent gains in racial and ethnic diversity in the teacher workforce could be in jeopardy because Black teachers were more likely to consider leaving their jobs than White teachers were; many cited low pay as their top reason. The authors recommend increasing teacher pay, reducing hours worked, and improving working conditions to boost teacher retention.
- Most teachers feel overworked: During the 2022–2023 school year, teachers worked more hours per week, on average, than working adults — 53 hours compared with 46
- Most teachers feel underpaid: Only 34 percent of teachers said that their base salary was adequate, compared with desired higher base salaries, on average, than their counterparts.
- Recent gains in racial and ethnic diversity in the teacher workforce could be in jeopardy
- Teacher dissatisfaction with hours, salary, and working conditions appears to drive poor well-being and lead teachers to consider leaving their jobs
Read the full article about teachers' perceptions of their work by Elizabeth D. Steiner, Ashley Woo, and Sy Doan at RAND Corporation.