We often hear people say that teachers leave low-income schools because of the problems students from low-income families bring to class. But we know the reality is different: great schools manage to keep teachers even when most of the student body is low-income.

A recent report helps explain what these schools are doing right. The report by the Teachers College Record (a publication of Columbia University) examined six new studies focused on teacher employment and found that the biggest factor in a teacher’s decision to leave a school is poor working conditions–not the students.

“New teachers in schools that were organized to support them through collegial interaction, opportunities for growth, appropriate assignments, adequate resources, and schoolwide structures supporting student learning were more likely to stay in those schools and in teaching than were the new teachers working at schools that lacked such supports.”

This supports the findings of our World Class Schools report that schools achieving great results for low-income students invest in teachers and cultivate a culture of joyful learning.

About 6% of teachers transfer to another school each year. Over 8% leave the profession. This rate of attrition is much higher than that of most high status professions.

An abstract of the report is available here.