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Finding and Keeping Educators in Arizona's Classrooms

Author: Helios Education Foundation

Research shows that teachers are the most important variable in the success of students.  Teachers are essential to providing our children with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in college, career, and life.  However, Arizona is facing a teacher recruitment and retention crisis. 

Consider the following:

  • Forty-two percent of the teachers hired in Arizona in 2013 left the field in three years or less.
  • Arizona is losing more teachers each year than it is producing from its three state universities.
  • Seventy-four percent of administrators surveyed said their schools are currently experiencing a shortage of teachers.
  • The demographics of the teaching profession are lagging behind the changing demographics of the state.  Just 13 percent of Arizona teachers are Latino, compared with 44 percent of K-12 students.

Recently, the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University released a study, supported by Helios Education Foundation, on the challenge of teacher recruitment and retention.  The report, “Finding & Keeping Educators for Arizona’s Classrooms” takes an in-depth look at the teaching profession from many angles and includes an exclusive survey of teachers from throughout Arizona.

“Helios Education Foundation believes that teachers are a critical component to ensuring that students have the opportunity to thrive and reach their full academic potential,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO of Helios.  “This research will help our state identify the key issues contributing to the shortage and prioritize strategies to recruit and retain the education professionals we need.”

Research in the report features data from a myriad of sources, including:

  •  Federal data on labor markets and educational statistics.
  •  Employment data from Arizona Department of Education on 89,605 individual teachers who taught between 2012 and 2016.
  •  A Morrison Institute online Education Workforce Survey of over 300 Arizona school administrators and over 1,600 teachers from all areas of the state, including district and charter schools.
  •  Focus group discussions with top-performing teachers throughout the state.
  •  Interviews with superintendents, principals and school board members around Arizona.


Click here to view the full report. 
 

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