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Study: Teacher turnover costs Oakland $12 million each year

AFTERNOON UPDATE AND MATHEMATICAL CHALLENGE: After talking to a researcher and doing the simple calculation myself, I just don’t arrive at the $12 million figure. As the researcher suggested, I multiplied the “actual” per-teacher turnover cost for Chicago ($17,872) by the number of classroom teachers who leave the Oakland district each year (300).

If anyone gets anything more than $5.36 million, let me know.

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Researchers from the National Commission on Teaching and America’s future estimate that the nation’s schools spend more than $7 billion per year to recruit, hire, process and train a constant stream of new teachers. In a report released today, they figure Oakland schools spend at least $12 million a year to that end. 

The commission argues that money would be well spent on more closely tracking teacher turnover and on improving teaching conditions. We’ll have a story in tomorrow’s paper that includes an interview with a teacher who’s leaving the district to teach in an Oakland charter school.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

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  • A Former Oakland Teacher

    I’m a teacher leaving the district after 8 years… there are a lot of reasons and OUSD (superintendents, principals, anybody!) has never figured out that if you treat people nicely and professionally, they might stay. Or, to be more accurate, no one has ever acted like it MATTERS if teachers stay. We’re treated as disposable; talked down to, threatened with firings, lied to by our administrators, and told about all the ways we are failing. Who wants to stay in this kind of environment? I cried when I left my students, but the rest of my life was suffering too much.