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What Keeps Effective Teachers in the Classroom
What Keeps Effective Teachers in the Classroom
Home Research Summary Video Brochure BLOG Press Release


WELCOME to Teachers Network's web area devoted to the Ford Foundation-supported initiative, entitled, What Keeps Effective Teachers in the Classroom.

About the Survey Findings
With support of the Ford Foundation, Teachers Network (www.teachersnetwork.org) – a non-profit organization that has been supporting public school teachers for nearly 30 years, undertook a major nationwide survey. In total, 2,530 surveys were sent out, and 1,210 responses were received—resulting in an astonishing 47.8% return rate, including 175 teachers who had left the classroom, which is exceptional in such a dataset. A primary purpose of this survey was to better understand the role that teacher collaboration plays in supporting and retaining effective teachers in “high-needs”, urban schools.
The Center for Teaching Quality ([CTQ]; www.teachingquality.org) has prepared a summary brief of an analysis of the findings of the Teachers Network survey. Overall, survey findings suggest that serious “turnaround” initiatives should include approaches to support collaboration, leadership, and professional development, such as those used by Teachers Network—for teachers in order to not only reform, but transform, “high-needs” schools and districts, and to advance and elevate the teaching profession. Ellen Dempsey, Teachers Network’s President & CEO, adds that “The Teachers Network survey is especially noteworthy because it sheds new light on how professional collaboration and teacher networks contribute—in extraordinarily cost-effective ways—to increase retention of good teachers.”
Just a few examples of key survey findings cited are:
  • Eight in ten responding teachers agreed that network participation (collaboration) encouraged them to remain in the classroom; nine in ten reported that it has improved their teaching practice; and
  • Colleagues’ support was the only school culture factor significantly associated with quality teachers’ planned long-term retention.

CLICK HERE to see the Preliminary Research Summary of findings and implications.

Post Your Comments on Our Blog

We'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback on our blog. Join the conversation, and stay tuned for more updates, results and opportunities-and subscribe to our dedicated RSS feed.

What Keeps Effective Teachers in the ClassroomThis major effort-which represents an alliance between the Ford Foundation; Teachers Network (a national and international non-profit organization that has been supporting public school teachers for nearly 30 years); as well as The Center for Teaching Quality and WestEd-provides specific data, as well as the direct voices of teachers-as they offer insight on what challenges they face in schools, what pressures push them out of the classrooms, and what factors help to keep them in the classroom. Most specifically, the purpose of this initiative and subsequent report and policy briefs has been to identify two things: 1) what keeps quality teachers in the classroom as opposed to what makes them leave, and 2) the contribution of teacher networks to quality teacher development and retention, especially in the context of high-needs schools.

What Keeps Effective Teachers in the ClassroomAs a whole, the larger initiative-including a survey of more than 1,200 teachers around the country (the results of which are shared in a preliminary research summary and a subsequent full report as well as policy briefs); a video-documentary narrated by actor Cynthia Nixon showcasing "the teacher's voice;" a blog for continuing this conversation nationwide; and a brochure/graphic organizer-is all collectively designed to help education decision-makers at every level think about what supports and measures need to be put in place to improve teacher retention, teacher quality, and ultimately student performance.

We hope that you find these materials informative and illuminating. Please join in on the conversation. We look forward to hearing your thoughts, comments, and suggestions on our blog! You are also encouraged to re-visit this link throughout the year for more updates and opportunities.