Mass. teachers increasingly called it quits as pandemic wore on, study shows

A new study reveals a significant increase in the number of Massachusetts teachers that quit their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Teacher turnover in the state was at least 15% higher over the last two years compared to 2019, according to the analysis by Boston University Wheelock College of Education.

"It doesn't represent a mass exodus that I think people were fearing, but it is a substantive increase," said Olivia Chi, a report author and assistant professor with Boston University's Wheelock College of Education and Human Development.

Chi's team found, based on data from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, that early career teachers vacated their positions in the highest numbers. In the fall of 2021, about 14% of these educators quit. That's double the rate of teachers with more than 10 years of experience.

"It potentially speaks to how difficult it was, especially for those who were new, to be teaching that school year and to be on-boarding that school year," said Chi.

When broken down by race and ethnicity, turnover was higher than historic levels among all groups. But the trends shifted when researchers looked at student populations. Schools with more than 75% Black and Latinx students had turnover rates below historic levels.

Editor's Note: Boston University owns WBUR's broadcast license. WBUR is editorially independent.


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Carrie Jung Senior Reporter, Education
Carrie is a senior education reporter.



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