In their article "The Greening of the American Teacher," Mercer Hall and Gina Sipley focus in one finding of a CPRE report on shifts in the American teaching workforce. That report is worth a look all by itself, but we'll save that for another day, because Hall and Sipley have some interesting insights to share.
The American teacher is now most probably a newb. There are several possible reasons for that trend-- Hall and Sipley blame, in part, the erosion of tenure. And in fact they've dug up some interesting research that shows some hugely interesting findings about private/charter school teachers:
1) They report more job satisfaction than public school teachers
2) They are more likely to quit than public school teachers
3) One of the top reasons given for the departure is lack of job security
The effects of this greening are many.
One is increased instability of teaching staff. We know that almost half of all beginning teachers will leave within their first five years. That means a largely newb staff may face high turnover. And despite the reformster insistence that youthful enthusiasm is the key to teaching excellence, most researchers and human beings who live on this planet reach the opposite conclusion-- that it takes 5-15 years for a teacher to really master the job.
Of course, some of the side effects are attractive to reformsters, especially the lower costs for staff. But as Hall and Sipley note, "the current skewing of the teacher force toward a homogenized team of
amateurs, however, undermines the undisputed benefits of skill and