DISD Teacher Turnover Reflects National Trend

The thing I cry out for with the DMN’s DISD reporting is context. It’s whistling in the wind. I never get it.

Take today’s story about how 20 percent of DISD teachers left last year. Okay. That’s more than in past years. Is that because of the stricter standards? We’ve been saying for years that, since too many DISD schools send kids directly to jail, we must change something. So isn’t that level of change good? Are we chasing out bad teachers, or are good teachers leaving? The DMN doesn’t say. We get anecdotal evidence, and comparison with previous years in DISD (which tells me nothing — perhaps DISD coddled bad teachers before?). So with a bit of sleuthing (read: 10 minutes on the Internet), I found my answer.

This is about in line with national trends, especially if you consider the reform efforts going on and that Dallas is such a large, poor ISD. In Philadelphia, for example, turnover was around 20 percent and hit 40 percent in some schools during reform efforts in the early aughts. More interesting, at least to me: private school teacher turnover nationwide is about the same as DISD’s current turnover: a little over 20 percent, according to the latest numbers, which is where DISD turnover was last year.

In other words: carry on.