Thursday, January 21, 2016

Teacher Turnover Bill Advances/GA Wimps Out

Senator Janet Howell's SB360 reported from the Senate Committee on Education and Health this morning on a unanimous vote.  The bill requires "the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop and implement a system to track teacher turnover and to annually report his findings to the General Assembly and the Governor."  The bill references exit questionnaires for departing teachers.

President Gruber testified in support of the bill noting that the report's findings will inform policy makers regarding the efficacy of Virginia's efforts to attract and retain teachers.  She pointed out that teacher turnover is costly to school divisions, with cost estimates ranging from 24 to 53 million dollars per year. 

She informed the committee that the national teacher turnover, which negatively affects student achievement, has gone from 9% a year to 20% today.  Turnover is highest in high-poverty schools where students most need experienced teachers of high quality.

SB360 now heads to the full Senate on the uncontested calendar.

Historically, the General Assembly continues no matter what the weather, but neither chamber will conduct business tomorrow.  This last happened in 2010.  I look forward to not setting the alarm clock tonight.  Please check this blog for the next posting on Monday.