Education

CMS lost more than a thousand teachers last year. What reason did most give?

Math teachers are once again among the hardest jobs to fill in North Carolina, a 2016 teacher turnover report shows.
Math teachers are once again among the hardest jobs to fill in North Carolina, a 2016 teacher turnover report shows. Observer file photo

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools lost 1,164 teachers last year, or 13 percent of its work force, according to a 2016 teacher turnover report presented to the North Carolina Board of Education Wednesday.

The state changed the way it tracks turnover, and officials cautioned that makes year-to-year comparisons difficult. However, the CMS rate appears to be lower than in recent years, when turnover rates ranged from 14 percent to 16.5 percent.

The state now focuses on attrition, or teachers who leave education in North Carolina. The state lost 8,636 teachers last year, or just over 9 percent of its work force. CMS accounted for 911 of them, roughly proportional to its size.

95,549 teachers in NC last year

8,636 are no longer teaching in the state

9 percent attrition rate

CMS lost another 253 teachers to other North Carolina districts, but hired 272 from other public schools in the state. The Department of Public Instruction now tracks such movement among districts, noting that it can benefit districts that can offset departures with hires who have experience and already understand the state’s curriculum and testing.

8,684 teachers in CMS last year

911are no longer teaching in NC

253 went to other NC districts

13 percent attrition rate

Most of the departing teachers in North Carolina and CMS cited “personal reasons,” a broad category that ranges from career changes and dissatisfaction with teaching to family changes. Firings and forced resignations accounted for 8 percent of the state’s attrition and 11 percent of CMS’.

547 CMS teachers left for personal reasons

185 left for reasons beyond CMS control (death, layoffs, etc.)

103 were forced out

Statewide, teachers in their first five years were more likely to leave than veteran teachers, and those with lower effectiveness ratings and job evaluations were more likely to depart than higher-rated colleagues.

As always, the state found that math, science and special education were the hardest fields to keep filled.

Ann Doss Helms: 704-358-5033, @anndosshelms

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