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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Urban Teacher Retention Policy: A Research Brief


This research brief summarizes interim results from a longitudinal study designed to inform policies aimed at curbing the high rate of attrition from hard-to-staff urban schools. These policies range from ensuring specialized teacher preservice education that willthat will prepare teachers for the challenges ahead to ongoing support for professional development and advancement. As an initial step in assessing the impact of specialized urban teacher preparation on retention, the research brief first summarizes interim cross-sectional retention data and compares it to national norms. Second, the brief outlines an expanded conception of retention that captures movement or migration away from teaching into other professional roles in education. These “role migration” data help inform retention-oriented policies aimed at professionalizing the education workforce. The third section of the brief reports another form of migration—movement away from high-priority schools to less challenging contexts—and suggests the role improved working conditions might play in retaining teachers in the schools that need them most.

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