Teacher Mobility in the School District of Philadelphia, 2009–10 through 2015–16

Great Learning

Teacher Mobility in the School District of Philadelphia, 2009–10 through 2015–16

Teachers are the most important influence in schools on student achievement, which makes attracting and retaining excellent teachers a high priority for all school districts. But public schools in large cities like Philadelphia are especially challenged to provide every student with a  highly-effective teacher. Teacher mobility—that is, transferring from one school to another or leaving the profession entirely—is disproportionately concentrated in urban school districts and has negative consequences for student performance. For these reasons, it is critical for policymakers and school leaders in Philadelphia to have a clear picture of the extent and nature of teacher mobility.

In this study, Philadelphia Education Research Consortium examines the number and percentage of mobile teachers in the School District of Philadelphia from 2009-10 through 2015-16. Mobile teachers are defined as those who did not return in the following year to the school where they had been teaching. The study shows the percentage of these mobile teachers who left their school for another school in SDP, exited for a Philadelphia charter school or another Pennsylvania public school outside of Philadelphia, or left Pennsylvania’s public education sector entirely. The study also presents key characteristics of mobile teachers and the schools they exited and entered.

The study uses publicly available personnel records from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and school-level information retrieved from the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics.

Click "Download Report" to view the study, including key findings and implications for policy and practice.

Published: September 2018
Matthew P. Steinberg, Ruth Curran Neild, W. Kyle Canuette, Sharin Park, Emily Schulman and Melissa Wright, Philadelphia Education Research Consortium
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