New data findings on Delaware teachers is a wake-up call for education leaders

Preliminary results from a data project that has been focused on Delaware teachers were released Thursday to give education leaders a closer look at the teacher experience in the workforce.

The report, “Delaware Educator Diagnostic: An Analysis of The First State’s Teaching Force” came together after the Delaware Department of Education teamed up with the Strategic Data Project, a group of researchers at Harvard University who collected data over a two year period to learn more about educators in the state. To do so, researchers have taken a look at educator recruitment, placement, development, evaluation and retention.

“This is about looking at who is in our classrooms and how this data can inform policy. That ranges from improving the recruitment of our teachers and placing them where their impact will be greatest to strengthening development opportunities for veteran teachers and understanding how to reduce turnover,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said.

The findings which were revealed touched on a number of issues too. Some key factors in the report revealed that new teachers are more likely to be assigned to the least prepared students; high poverty schools in Delaware have higher rates of teacher turnover and that there’s significant variation in Delaware teachers’ impact on student test scores. However, it didn’t end there. The report also showed that the teachers’ impact on student test scores increases most in the first few years of teaching and that there’s a significant share of new teachers that leave teaching in Delaware within four years

As far as teachers’ impact on student test scores, if you look at how it impacts students and math for example, data shows that teacher impact on student math achievement increases the most in the first few years of teaching.

However, the downside of the collected data shows that the state continues to lose teachers. According to officials, 2 out of 5 teachers actually leave education within their first four years and more than 15 percent of teachers transfer to new schools.

The full report is expected to be released and published in June but until then you can take a look at the preliminary results.

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