January 21, 2010 | Adam Sorensen | Leave a comment Public schools that have troubled students have higher levels of teacher turnover. Pittsburgh Public Schools have the highest turnover rate in teachers according to reports. So the district is trying to work with the schools to make sure the schools are places teachers want to be. Researchers found that turnover was the highest at the 14 most vulnerable schools which is defined by weak test scores, high levels of poverty, and higher than average discipline problems. Between 2006 and 2009 there were 3,000 teachers tracked. The tracking from the study showed that the most vulnerable schools retained only 54 percent of teachers, while the least vulnerable retained 66 percent. This shows that teachers typically leave troubled schools more often than affluent or less vulnerable schools. Teachers generally prefer to work at schools that have fewer problems. So “when teachers move from one school to another within the district, they most often move from more to less vulnerable schools” stated the report. The study also found that the most vulnerable schools had the least experienced and qualified teachers within the district. The reason for this is that the more teaching experience they have the more likely they are to work at the least troubled schools. While new teachers take the jobs at the troubled schools in order to get their foot in the door and move up. As the statistics show, these troubled schools serve as a revolving door for teachers. But turnover isn’t necessarily bad either. Even top schools have a high turnover rate because of the expectations placed on teachers. However, the turn over rate is much higher at schools that are labeled most vulnerable. So as a result school districts are trying to improve teacher retention and it’s a major step in the right direction. Plus these students will be able to receive the best possible education. Hopefully retaining these teachers along with other adjustments will help turn these schools around.