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Teachers in the School District of Philadelphia: Tables on Teacher Retention and the Distribution of Teachers’ Certification Levels and Experience in the District by School Type, Poverty Level, and School Racial Composition

This report summarizes findings from an analysis carried out by the authors on a data set representing all teachers employed in the School District of Philadelphia over the three-year period 1999-2000 to 2001-2002. In addition, the report presents and explains seventeen tables which show the analyses on which the findings are based. The authors looked at: teacher retention at individual schools and within the District as a whole, broken down by school type (e.g., K-8, elementary, middle, high), poverty level, and racial composition; teacher credentials (certification, years teaching in the District) analyzed with same breakdown criteria; and one-year teacher retention rates within the 70 ‘low-performing’ schools targeted for interventions. The data documented that high poverty schools with high percentages of minority students, and particularly middle schools in this group, were at the greatest disadvantage in terms of higher teacher turnover, lack of experienced teachers, and lower numbers of certified teachers. As illustration, just over two-fifths of teachers in highest poverty middle schools remained in those schools over the three-year period; about half of all teachers in the highest-poverty schools have 0-5 years of teaching experience in Philadelphia.