Research: Attracting New Teachers to Urban Schools

September 22, 2009 | Blog

New research led by Tony Milanowski of the University of Wisconsin-Madison provides more evidence that increasing teacher pay may not be the best approach to attract new teachers to high-need, hard-to-staff urban schools. A key finding of the study — published in the International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership — which explored job factors important to pre-service educators was that “working conditions factors, especially principal support, had more influence on simulated job choice than pay level.”

‘Policy implications’ include:

  • “[M]oney might be better spent to attract, retain, or train better principals than to provide higher beginning salaries to teachers in schools with high-poverty or a high proportion of students of color.”
  • “[I]nduction programs and curricular flexibility are important to new teachers. The finding that induction programs are attractive, combined with evidence that such programs can be
    effective in reducing teacher turnover (e.g., Ingersoll and Kralick, 2004; Smith and Ingersoll, 2004), suggests that urban districts may want to implement high-qualityinduction and mentoring programs, especially for new teachers in schools with high proportions of poor students or students of color.”


  1. Reply


    September 23, 2009

    I think this study is worth follow up in other locations, and I think the authors pointed out a key limitation in their study as well: the respondents' average age was 26. They note that older teachers and more established teachers might take a different view of the relative importance of compensation.

    I like the title of your blog and look forward to reading more!

  2. Reply


    October 11, 2009

    Great post and comment. I would add that this may be a useful strategy for rural districts to explore as well. We recently completed a literature review on educational strategies that could either:
    1) maintain (or improve) students’ academic achievement at less cost to the school district, or
    2) improve student academic achievement, or that of traditionally less successful subgroups, at the same cost. Induction programs were recommended as a way to improve teacher retention. However, given the low level of evidence in the rural context (mostly anecdotal), more research is needed.[swords]=broton&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=2182&tx_ttnews[backPid]=311&cHash=6b5d984627

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