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Recruitment and Retention of Teachers in Tennessee's Achievement School District and iZone Schools

Looking at data from the 2010-2011 school year through the 2014-15 school year, TERA research partners examined the two largest efforts to turnaround Tennessee's priority schools, the Achievement School District (ASD), and Innovation Zone Schools (iZones). This brief attempts to determine the extent to which these reforms recruit and retain highly effective teachers. 

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Key Findings: 
Teacher improvement  
  • The turnover rate for ASD schools averaged 63 percent and the turnover rate for all Tennessee iZone schools averaged 37 percent from 2012-2013 through 2014-2015. Over the first three years of operation for their first cohorts, the turnover rate was 57 percent per year for ASD and 35 percent for iZone. 

  • For the two cohorts of schools for which we have data for their second year of operation in the ASD, the turnover rates were 50 percent and 49 percent, respectively. For the two cohorts of the iZone schools for which we similarly have data for their second year of operation, their turnover rates were lower at 40 and 23 percent, respectively. 

  • Overall, both ASD and iZone schools recruited more highly effective teachers when compared with other priority schools in Tennessee and all non-priority Tennessee schools. 

  • The iZone schools had large gains in teacher effectiveness through teacher replacement, gaining 0.59 average TVAAS score points from incoming versus moving and leaving teachers. ASD schools also gained an average of 0.38 TVAAS score points. Tennessee's other priority schools averaged a gain of 0.11 TVAAS points. 

  • The iZone schools have retained and recruited highly effective teachers as well as developed teachers to the highest level of effectiveness in that state's evaluation system.