Education Policy Innovation Collaborative
Teacher Reforms and Teacher Attrition in Michigan
This policy brief examines the impact of Michigan teacher reforms on teacher exits (also known as attrition) from the profession. Teacher attrition is one important component of the teacher labor market and can be influenced by a variety of factors. Although moderate teacher attrition is common, elevated exit rates can be both causes and symptoms of larger problems within a school system (Ingersoll, 2001). Teacher attrition in Michigan is especially topical, given the recent attention it has been given both in the news media and in policy. The brief includes a discussion of some potential causes of changes in attrition rates, with a deep dive into one candidate cause: the 2011 labor market reforms in Michigan.
View Policy brief - Teacher Reforms and Teacher Attrition in Michigan.
Preparing Michigan's Teachers: How Teacher training predicts job placement and mobility
This policy brief examines the early-career placement and retention rates for teachers graduating from Michigan’s educator preparation Institutions (EPIs). This report addresses three central research questions:
How can teacher education programs in Michigan be systematically understood through commonly shared institutional characteristics?
What is the relationship between the type of teacher education program a teacher attends and the school in which he or she later works?
To what extent does the type of teacher education program teachers attend predict later mobility and attrition rates?
View Policy brief - Preparing Michigan's Teachers: How Teacher training predicts job placement and mobility.
Collective Bargaining in Michigan School Districts: A primer
This policy brief provides an overview of collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) in the state of Michigan. It explains differences across National Educational Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union contracts and explores the content areas that are typically negotiated.
View Policy brief - Collective Bargaining in Michigan School Districts: A primer.
White Paper No. 1 - A War on Teachers? Labor Market Responses to Statewide Reform
We examine the effect of Michigan’s 2011 reforms to teacher evaluation and tenure policies on teacher retention. Our data are drawn from administrative records containing the population of public school employees from 2005-06 through 2015-16. Our difference-in-differences identification strategy exploits the plausibly exogenous timing of pre-reform CBA contract expiration dates that governed when teachers were exposed to the reforms to isolate the causal effect of reforms on the probability that a teacher permanently exits Michigan’s traditional public schools. We find that, on average, Michigan’s teacher accountability reforms had little impact on teacher attrition. However, further analyses provide strong evidence that teachers assigned to hard-to-staff districts (proxied by poverty rates, student performance and dropout rates) were more likely to exit post reform, as well as evidence that pre-tenure teachers were also disproportionately affected. Thus, our results suggest that although more teachers exited Michigan’s schools post reform, teacher-specific reforms alone may have had little impact on overall teacher attrition, and policymakers must consider differential impacts based on experience and teaching location.
View White Paper No. 1 - A War on Teachers? Labor Market Responses to Statewide Reform.
White Paper No. 2 - Teacher Training, Teacher Placement, and Teacher Mobility: Evidence from Michigan 2011–2015
The role of teacher preparation in improving student access to high quality teaching, particularly for those in high-need schools, is of increasing interest in policy, practice, and research. In this study, we use administrative data from Michigan to observe relationships between teacher education programs and teachers’ employment outcomes. We describe a systematic approach for characterizing teacher preparation in Michigan and organize teacher education programs into four unique clusters. We also observe a number of institutional characteristics that predict the types of schools teachers enter as well as exit and transfer rates from those schools. We find that graduates of academically rigorous institutions are less likely to work in high-need schools and more likely to exit the profession. We find higher rates of exit and transfer associated with more racially diverse programs. Our results have implications for teacher preparation, particularly for high-performing programs and those preparing teachers of color.
View White Paper No. 2 - Teacher Training, Teacher Placement, and Teacher Mobility: Evidence from Michigan 2011–2015.
White Paper No. 3 - Crossing Over? The Implications of Reform to the Traditional Public School Labor Market for Charter School Teachers
In recent years, policymakers in many states have enacted reforms to teacher evaluation, tenure, and collective bargaining in the traditional public school sector. Despite the attention paid to these reforms by critics and supporters alike, the implications for such changes across the broader labor market for K-12 teachers are missing from debate. In this paper, we consider the potential for spillover reform effects on a large sector of public charter school teachers in Michigan. Using microdata from 2005-2016, we measure changes to rates of teacher transfer within and between sectors, as well as teacher exits from the profession, in both the traditional and charter school markets. We find evidence that, following the reforms, charter teachers overall were less likely to exit or transfer sectors relative to TPS teachers. However, there are some important differences within the set of charter teachers, suggesting differential policy-related responses.
View White Paper No. 3 - Crossing Over? The Implications of Reform to the Traditional Public School Labor Market for Charter School Teachers.