Strong retention strategies include providing paid career paths that keep great teachers in the classroom, giving teachers and leaders appropriate autonomy over their work, and offering multiple opportunities to continue to improve and excel. The Innovation Station’s resources for retaining include the following:

  • General resources, such as publications and multimedia sources on keeping high-performing educators in the classroom, state policy guidelines on supporting effective principals, and a state policy database.
  • Career pathways and tiered certification publications and websites on creating career paths that provide multiple opportunities for excellent teachers, using evaluations to drive excellence, and rethinking certification standards.
  • Motivation 3.0, with a publication and multimedia presentations on tapping into teachers’ and leaders’ motivation at each stage of their careers by encouraging them to make real contributions, have appropriate autonomy over their work, and strive for mastery.

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General Resources


This biannual report from the National Council on Teacher Quality presents state snapshots on teacher policy in 2017 regarding teacher preparation, recruitment and retention and provides guidance to... Read more »

This report from the Learning Policy Institute uses federal databases to analyze current trends in teacher shortages and to project future shortage trends.

This publication reports the results of the 2013 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) of 100,000 teachers and leaders in 34 countries and economies.

This guide offers tools to assist district leaders in the development of policies to ensure that all students have equitable access to excellent teachers.

Fourth in a series of reports by Wallace Foundation on principalship, this report examines the progress districts participating in the Principal Pipeline Initiative have made in implementing... Read more »

This brief summarizes findings from Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative, where six urban school districts collaborated with universities to offer principal preparation programs,... Read more »

The Central Office Transformation Toolkit—published by the Center for Educational Leadership at the University of Washington and The Wallace Foundation—provides district leaders with three tools to... Read more »
This report by the School Leaders Network focuses on the need to prioritize principal retention and suggests shifting focus from creating a strong leader pipeline to addressing retention issues... Read more »

This report presents an analysis of teacher characteristics and learning experiences and describes how they can affect English language learner (ELL) student outcomes in mathematics.

This Learning Policy Institute report explains the positive impact of teacher diversity on outcomes for students of color, barriers to recruiting and retaining teachers of color, and promising... Read more »

This report looks at 10 school districts and the key policy decisions they have made to redesign their teacher compensation systems.

This paper reviews 30 studies from the past 15 years on the effect teaching experience has on student outcomes and concludes that teaching experience is positively associated with student gains,... Read more »

This study from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) includes a teacher pension report card for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., together with an in-depth analysis of teacher pension... Read more »
This report challenges the widely-held belief that teacher turnover adversely affects student outcomes, finding that teachers leave the profession largely as a result of poor performance or... Read more »

This brief from The Education Trust presents ideas for states to consider when developing a state plan to ensure that all students, particularly disadvantaged students, have access to effective... Read more »

Starting from the premise that teachers and school leaders have the greatest influence on student outcomes, this report presents strategies for recruiting teachers and principals and ensuring... Read more »

Teachers and students are using electronic instructional and learning materials with ever-increasing frequency. This report examines how pixel-based media are changing modern learning both in and... Read more »

This report examines how five school districts in Texas, Tennessee, Oregon, Georgia, and Louisiana implemented new educator evaluation and support systems and lessons learned along the way.

This report outlines the methods used by four successful charter networks to recruit and develop principals, and offers recommendations for expanding these practices to schools across the country... Read more »

This report provides a comprehensive and research-based framework outlining the conditions necessary for school leaders to succeed and details the conditions that effective school systems have in... Read more »

This report from NCTQ and the Brookings Institution examines why diversity in the teacher workforce matters so much, and the challenges associated with recruiting teachers who reflect the... Read more »

This report investigates the implementation of new teacher mentoring programs in five states, including Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

In an October 2014 discussion hosted by the Albert Shanker Institute, a panel of experts examined reasons that high-needs students are disproportionately taught by new, poorly prepared, and... Read more »
This brief by the Center for American Progress examines how much autonomy teachers have using recent data sets, including the Schools and Staffing Survey, state surveys, and other national polling... Read more »

Teachers and leaders can find examples, strategies, and resources to strengthen their district’s teacher evaluation system to support professional learning. 

Based on a review of the existing literature, this report (published by the RAND Corporation) provides a set of recommendations designed to help districts and states create conditions that foster... Read more »
This report by the Aspen Institute argues for a shift in school culture, making a case for the redistribution of leadership tasks to teachers.

This three-volume report describes the “SAM” process, which is intended help principals spend more time on improving classroom instruction and less time on administrative and managerial tasks.

This brief from the Learning Policy Institute examines the effectiveness of state efforts to recruit, employ, and retain minority K-12 teachers. Results are based on a study of teacher recruitment... Read more »

This brief from the Education Commission of the States focuses on alternative certification as a strategy for recruiting teachers.

This brief from the Education Commission of the States focuses on teacher evaluation and feedback as a strategy for retaining teachers.

This brief from the Education Commission of the States examines teacher induction and mentorship as a strategy for retaining teachers.

This report investigates why professional development strategies are failing in their goal to effectively support teachers and promote growth.

The Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) enlisted the help of principals in three states, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Maryland, to find out more about ways they are using their... Read more »

This report from Deans for Impact focuses on the application of “deliberate practice,” or activities based on research-based principles that are purposeful and designed to maximize improvement, to... Read more »

This report examines states’ preservice teacher preparation programs and their efforts to prepare teachers for literacy instruction.

This report comprises statistical tables describing principal attrition and mobility, and was based on a sample of 7,500 public and 1,700 private schools.
This module from the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) New Teacher Alliance in Washington state provides strategies to help school leaders meet the needs of their new teachers.

This study examines how principals in public schools spend their time, using data from the 2011-12 National Center for Education Statistics’ Schools and Staffing Survey.

This webpage, published by New Leaders, includes a series of briefs that encourage a greater focus on school leadership at the federal level.

This report on the impact of teacher experience on student outcomes bases its findings on a new methodological model designed to limit bias.

Developed by a consortium of national school leader organizations, this publication takes a new look at the education leadership landscape and presents new professional standards to guide... Read more »

This federal report presents data on teacher attrition and mobility from a longitudinal study following teachers who began teaching in 2007–08.

New Leaders assembled a guide to the state’s role in each of the policy areas that affect school leadership—specifically principals.
The increasing urgency to design schools the help students better achieve combined with budget reductions have made it increasingly important to make smart and efficient investments.

This brief, written by the Education Commission of the States, examines the necessity of strong school leadership and lists steps states can take to ensure that all schools have effective leaders... Read more »

This report by Public Impact identifies four common strategies employed by other sectors to disproportionately retain high performers and discusses how committed education leaders could begin... Read more »

This TNTP report on teacher compensation puts forward the case for rewarding teachers according to their performance.
Based on the assumption that teacher pay is an important factor in teacher recruitment and retention, this report by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) examines how different districts... Read more »

This report from the Center for American Progress calls for the expansion of supported entry programs for new teachers.

This report, published by Gallup, includes data from 5th- to 12th-grade students, together with material gathered over several decades from studies focusing on the key qualities of high-performing... Read more »

The Education Commission of the States’ database—updated weekly—tracks legislation, rules/regulations, and executive orders on a variety of education issues, including teacher and leadership... Read more »

Based on survey feedback from its American School Leader Panel, a nationally representative sample of principals in small, medium, and large school districts, the RAND corporation investigated the... Read more »

This report from the New Teacher Center (NTC) reviews state policies designed to support new teachers and the mentors working alongside them in their first years in the classroom.

Learn about policies that can support building a strong, sustainable school leadership pipeline. 

This report seeks to identify the components of a sustainable, effective teacher career continuum by studying eight varied school districts—high-poverty, low-poverty, urban, suburban, and rural—... Read more »

This database compiles collective bargaining agreements and state policies for more than 100 of the largest school districts in all 50 states, and also generates customized reports by district.
Commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to gain insights into professional development for teachers, this study found broad agreement among teaching professionals on what comprises... Read more »

Explore how states are addressing talent development policies for coaches, mentors, instructional specialists, and teacher leaders. 

Research conducted over time has shown that teacher quality is a key factor in improving student outcomes, but in many states schools are legally required to base layoff decisions on the length of... Read more »
In this report, the Center for American Progress looks at the increasing demands placed on principals in today’s schools, which are leading to growing rates of attrition in the field.
This study by The New Teacher Project, which looks at 1.4 million students across four urban school districts, directs its focus on the experiences of some of the highest performing teachers.

This paper presents findings from an analysis using student-level data over ten years to investigate the long-term impact of students having teachers of the same race in elementary grades. ... Read more »

In this report, TNTP looks at challenges in the area of teacher improvement, and finds that large investments have been made by school districts and systems across the country in recent years in... Read more »

This report examines the progress made in recent years in increasing teacher diversity in public schools.

This brief by the Center for American Progress highlights how some states use funding through Title II, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to strengthen the teacher pipeline by... Read more »

This report by the Center for American Progress (CAP) summarizes the findings of a 108-school district survey focused on human capital systems.

Based on data collected from six urban school districts that participated in The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative, this report from the Rand Corporation examines the resources... Read more »


Learn three human capital management policies for supporting career and technical education (CTE) teachers: certification, performance evaluation, and... Read more »

Published by the Center for American Progress, the report focuses on the need to build a more racially and ethnically diversified teaching workforce.
This report by Urban Teacher Residency United examines the important role that teacher residency plays in the teacher preparation process.

This case study focuses on an innovative teacher contract approved and implemented in Baltimore in 2012 under Dr. Andres Alonso, the CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools.

This brief examines the CLASS project, an Oregon initiative intended to close the achievement gap by improving teacher quality by expanding career paths for teachers, and improving evaluations,... Read more »

This RAND report examines the actions and working conditions experienced by first-year principals and connects these factors to subsequent school achievement and principal retention.

This study examines what Boston charter schools are doing to achieve consistently strong student outcomes.

This CALDER study uses longitudinal data to examine gaps in teacher quality over time between advantaged and disadvantaged students in North Carolina and Washington.

The New Teacher Project’s case study provides an in-depth look at retention strategies that it first examined in The Irreplaceables and specifically examines how these strategies are being... Read more »
This research and policy brief, by the National Comprehensive Center for TeacherQuality, seeks to help state, district and school-level leaders more fully understand the Generation Y workforce, or... Read more »
This research—published by the Center on Personnel Studies in Special Education— addresses four concerns regarding special education teacher induction: (1) the high attrition rate in special... Read more »

This report examines key findings from a 2014 California teacher survey.

This North Carolina-based study explores the impact of teacher experience on student learning and concludes that greater teacher experience is correlated with improved student outcomes, both in terms... Read more »
This Chiefs for Change report examines New Mexico’s state-led effort to develop an ecosystem of teacher leadership and advocacy initiatives that empowers teachers to effect school policies and... Read more »

This report by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research finds that Chicago Public Schools teachers with low-end scores on Recognizing Educators Advancing Chicago’s Students (REACH... Read more »

This five-part, online module, created by the IRIS Center, highlights that administrative support is critical for new special education teachers and demonstrates how teacher support can boost... Read more »

In an analysis of state-level data, this study on teacher retention in Kentucky found that teachers under the age of 31 and over the age of 50 are more likely to leave the profession than teachers... Read more »

The IRIS Center at Vanderbilt University developed this five-part, online, interactive module to highlight how to best support—and therefore retain—special educators, with a particular focus on the... Read more »
This pilot study, which focuses on school districts in Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, finds that teacher turnover is costly and has a direct correlation with student outcomes in... Read more »

This paper analyzes the impact of the Florida Critical Teacher Shortage Program (FCTSP), which is aimed at increasing recruitment and stemming attrition of teachers in subject areas with shortages... Read more »

In California, seven out of 10 of the state’s fastest growing occupations are in STEM fields.

This study by the Fordham Institute investigated whether districts are able to dismiss ineffective teachers who have tenure or veteran status.

This report from the Center for American Progress examines policies and practices that states, districts, and schools can leverage to improve the overall quality of the educator workforce and ensure... Read more »

This report outlines findings from a study of the 2010 cohort of Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) Program grantees in their third year of implementation.

This brief from the Center for American Progress looks at compensations rates for teachers across the states and finds that not only are teachers being paid less than they deserve, they are not being... Read more »
In this report, the Alliance for Excellent Education examines why teacher turnover rates are high among beginning teachers and recommends a comprehensive induction program to increase teacher... Read more »
This report, produced by The New Teacher Project (TNTP), documents the perspectives of 117 of America’s best teachers, with the hope that their feedback can be used to strengthen the profession.
This publication, by Learning Point Associates and Public Agenda, examines how best to retain teacher talent among Generation Y, the cohort born between 1977 and 1995.