Public Agenda

Retaining Teacher Talent: The View From Generation Y

New Research by Public Agenda and Learning Point Associates Examines Gen Y Teacher Views

Jane G. Coggshall, Ph.D., Amber Ott, Ellen Behrstock, and Molly Lasagna

New York, NYóA new study released today paints a national picture of Generation Y teachers revealing an openness to incentive pay. Seventy-one percent of Gen Y teachers are open to rewarding teachers based on incentive pay, whereas only 10 percent of Gen Y teachers think that student performance on standardized tests is an ďexcellentĒ measure of teacher success.

The nationwide study, Retaining Teacher Talent: The View from Generation Y, from Public Agenda, a nonprofit research organization, and Learning Point Associates, a nonprofit education research and consulting organization, offers a comprehensive and nuanced look at the question of whether different generations bring different aspirations, concerns, and perspectives to teaching.

ďTraditionally, teachers have strongly opposed differentiating pay based on student performance, but we found evidence that those attitudes may be changing among Gen Y teachers,Ē said Jane Coggshall, Ph.D., coprincipal investigator for the Supporting Teacher Talent study. ďHowever, young teachers, like teachers of all ages, are concerned about using standardized test scores as the principal criterion.Ē

According to Sabrina Laine, Ph.D., chief program officer for educator quality at Learning Point Associates, ďThe study findings send a strong message to school leaders who need to recognize that to retain our best teachers, it is imperative to support teacher effectiveness through improved teaching and learning conditions because teachers, more than anything, want to make a difference for their students.Ē

The study explores the attitudes of all teachers toward how they wish to be compensated, examines how they view their unions, and expands on the following findings:

1. Most Gen Y teachers support incentive pay for teachers who consistently work harder and put in more time and effort than other teachers. Seventy-one percent of Gen Y teachers favor giving financial incentives to teachers who consistently work harder, putting in more time and effort than other teachers, with 25 percent ďstronglyĒ in favor.


* These differences are not statistically significant.

2. Gen Y teachers are deeply concerned about using standardized test scores to measure their performance. Only 10 percent of Gen Y teachers think that how well students perform on standardized tests is an ďexcellentĒ measure of success as a teacher, and 72 percent of them believe it is unfair to tie teacher pay to how well students perform when so many things that affect learning are beyond their control.


* Gen X teachers are defined as those teachers between the ages of 33 and 44. Baby Boomers are those teachers aged 45 to 63.

Despite openness to incentive pay, it is not Gen Yís first choice as a strategy for improving teaching. The idea of tying teacher rewards to student performance ranked last among 12 proposals, including requiring new teachers to spend more time teaching in classrooms under the supervision of experienced teachers, requiring teachers to pass tough tests of their knowledge of the subjects they are teaching, and ensuring that the latest technology is available in each classroom to aid instruction.

3. Teachersí concerns that unions sometimes protect seriously underperforming teachers have risen in recent years. Sixty-six percent of all teachers agreed that unions sometimes fight to protect teachers who should not be in the classroom, as compared with 48 percent of teachers who agreed with this statement in 2003.

Supporting Teacher Talent: The View from Generation Y is based on six focus group interviews conducted throughout the country as well as a national, random-sample survey of 890 public school teachers conducted in spring and summer 2009, including an oversample of 241 teachers aged 32 and under. The work was underwritten by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Joyce Foundation.



Full Survey Results

"Supporting Teacher Talent: The View From Generation Y" is the second of a series of three reports based on a nationally representative survey of 890 teachers. Data were collected by phone and online between April 16 and June 22, 2009. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percent.

Results of less than 0.5 percent are signified by an asterisk. Results of zero are signified by a dash. Responses may not always total 100 percent due to rounding or the omission of some answer categories. Combining answer categories may produce slight discrepancies between numbers in these survey results and number in the report.


Total Gen Y Older Teachers

Q1 - Q6. Held for future release

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
Q7. What is your best estimate for how many more years you think youíll be a classroom teacher? Do you think it will be for the next year or so, 2 to 4 years, 5 to 10 years or more than 10 years, or do you think you will not come back next year? Not coming back next year 2% * 3%
Next year or so 6% 4% 6%
2 to 4 years 16% 11% 16%
5 to 10 years 33% 17% 36%
More than 10 years 43% 68% 38%
Donít know/Refused * 0% *

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
Q8. Do you think of teaching as a lifelong career choice, do you think youíll probably leave the classroom for another job in education, or will you change fields altogether? Lifelong career choice 72% 56% 75%
Probably leave the classroom for another job in education 20% 42% 15%
Change fields altogether 7% 2% 8%
Donít know/Refused 1% * 2%

Q9. Held for future release

Q10. Please tell me if you agree or disagree with each of the following statements. (RANDOMIZE)

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
a. Teaching is so demanding, it's a wonder that more people don't burn out.
Strongly agree 51% 41% 52%
Somewhat agree 40% 53% 37%
Somewhat disagree 8% 4% 8%
Strongly disagree 2% 2% 2%
DK/Ref. 0% 0% 0%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
b. Teaching is exactly what I wanted Ė there is nothing Iíd rather be doing. Strongly agree 50% 36% 53%
Somewhat agree 36% 51% 33%
Somewhat disagree 11% 10% 11%
Strongly disagree 2% 3% 2%
DK/Ref. * * 0%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
c. I believe that all my students, given the right support, can go to college if they choose. Strongly agree 39% 44% 38%
Somewhat agree 34% 35% 34%
Somewhat disagree 17% 19% 17%
Strongly disagree 10% 20% 11%
DK/Ref. * 0% *

Q11. Held for future release

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
Q12. If you had to pick from this list, which would be the most difficult thing about being a teacher, is it [RANDOMIZE 1-5]? Unreasonable pressure to raise student achievement 32% 27% 33%
Lack of effort from students 25% 23% 25%
Lack of support from parents 23% 18% 23%
Lack of support from administrators 11% 12% 11%
Low pay and lack of opportunity for advancement 8% 19% 6%
(VOL.) None of these * * *
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 1% 1% 1%

Q13 - Q15. Held for future release

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
Q16. Which comes closer to your view, even if neither is exactly right? [RANDOMIZE 1-2] I prefer having a principal who frequently observes my classroom and gives me detailed feedback on how I am doing (OR) 63% 70% 61%
I prefer having a principal who conducts formal observations of my teaching only once a year or so and gives me only general feedback (OR) 36% 30% 38%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 1% * 1%

Q17a AND Q17b rotated

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
17a. Given a choice between two schools in otherwise identical districts, which would you prefer to work inÖ (ROTATE 1-2)? The school where student behavior and parental support were significantly better (OR) 84% 83% 84%
The school that paid a significantly higher salary (OR) 15% 17% 15%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 1% 0% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
17b. Given a choice between two schools in otherwise identical districts, which would you prefer to work inÖ (ROTATE 1-2)? The school where administrators gave strong backing and support to teachers (OR) 77% 74% 77%
The school which paid a significantly higher salary (OR) 22% 26% 21%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 1% 0% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
Q18. This year, about how many teachers in your building do you think fail to do a good job and are simply going through the motions? (READ 1-4) None, 18% 15% 19%
A few, 59% 54% 60%
More than a few, OR 18% 28% 16%
Quite a large number? 4% 3% 4%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 1% 0% 1%

Q19 - Q23. Held for future release

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
Q24. How would you complete this statement: This year, as a result of my instruction, the subject matter test scores of most of my studentsÖ(READ 1-4 IN ORDER): Increased a lot from the beginning of the year, 43% 38% 44%
Increased somewhat from the beginning of the year, 52% 57% 52%
Did not increase, or 2% 2% 2%
Decreased somewhat? 1% * 1%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 2% 3% 2%

Q25. Held for future release

Q26. Please tell me how good you think the following measures are at indicating your success as a teacher? (RANDOMIZE)

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
a. How well the students perform on your districtís standardized tests Excellent 12% 10% 12%
Good 44% 40% 45%
Fair 30% 40% 27%
Poor 12% 7% 13%
DK/Ref. 2% 3% 2%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
b. Whether the students are engaged in their coursework Excellent 46% 41% 47%
Good 46% 47% 46%
Fair 7% 11% 6%
Poor 1% 1% 1%
DK/Ref. 0% 0% 0%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
c. The feedback you get from your principal and other administrators Excellent 20% 19% 19%
Good 51% 56% 50%
Fair 22% 24% 21%
Poor 8% 1% 9%
DK/Ref. * 0% *

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
d. How much your students are learning compared with students in other schools Excellent 26% 16% 28%
Good 46% 54% 44%
Fair 21% 27% 20%
Poor 7% 3% 8%
DK/Ref. 1% 1% 1%

Q27. Held for future release

Q28. How effective do you think each of the following proposals would be in terms of improving teacher effectiveness? (RANDOMIZE)?

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
a. Requiring new teachers to spend much more time teaching in classrooms under the supervision of experienced teachers Very effective 36% 25% 38%
Somewhat effective 50% 59% 48%
Not too effective 11% 11% 11%
Not effective at all 2% 5% 2%
DK/Ref. * * *

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
b. Eliminating teacher tenure Very effective 9% 12% 7%
Somewhat effective 26% 27% 26%
Not too effective 32% 39% 30%
Not effective at all 34% 23% 36%
DK/Ref. * * *

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
c. Making it easier to terminate ineffective teachers Very effective 34% 30% 35%
Somewhat effective 42% 49% 41%
Not too effective 19% 16% 19%
Not effective at all 4% 4% 4%
DK/Ref. 1% 1% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
d. Requiring teachers to pass tough tests of their knowledge of the subjects they are teaching Very effective 15% 10% 16%
Somewhat effective 40% 43% 39%
Not too effective 31% 34% 31%
Not effective at all 14% 13% 14%
DK/Ref. * * *

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
e. Increasing teacher salaries to levels similar to other professional jobs such as lawyers and doctors Very effective 49% 47% 50%
Somewhat effective 39% 45% 38%
Not too effective 10% 8% 10%
Not effective at all 2% * 2%
DK/Ref. * 0% *

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
f. Reducing class size by approximately 5 students Very effective 66% 63% 67%
Somewhat effective 29% 28% 29%
Not too effective 3% 2% 3%
Not effective at all 2% 5% 1%
DK/Ref. * 2% *

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
g. Improving professional development opportunities for teachers Very effective 51% 50% 52%
Somewhat effective 42% 44% 41%
Not too effective 6% 6% 5%
Not effective at all 1% * 1%
DK/Ref. * * *

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
h. Preparing teachers to adapt or vary their instruction to meet the needs of a diverse classroom Very effective 61% 65% 61%
Somewhat effective 35% 33% 35%
Not too effective 3% * 3
Not effective at all 1% 1% 1%
DK/Ref. 1% * 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
i. Ensuring that students who are severe discipline problems are removed from the classroom and placed in alternative programs more suited to them Very effective 68% 56% 70%
Somewhat effective 27% 36% 24%
Not too effective 5% 7% 4%
Not effective at all * 1% *
DK/Ref. 1% * 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
j. Making sure that students in the classroom have roughly the same academic abilities Very effective 17% 23% 16%
Somewhat effective 42% 35% 44%
Not too effective 31% 38% 29%
Not effective at all 8% 3% 10%
DK/Ref. 1% 0% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
k. Ensuring that the latest technology is available in each classroom to aid instruction Very effective 55% 52% 55%
Somewhat effective 38% 44% 36%
Not too effective 7% 5% 8%
Not effective at all 1% 0% 1%
DK/Ref. * 0% *

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
l. Tying teacher rewards to their studentsí performance Very effective 8% 10% 8%
Somewhat effective 24% 39% 21%
Not too effective 29% 27% 29%
Not effective at all 38% 24% 41%
DK/Ref. * 0% *

Q29 - Q31. Held for future release

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
Q32. Which comes closer to your view? (ROTATE 1-2) Teachers can make a difference in what kids learn and they should be financially rewarded when they succeed. (OR) 22% 28% 20%
Itís not fair to attach teacher pay to what kids learn when so many things that affect student learning are beyond their control. (OR) 77% 72% 77%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 2% * 2%

Q33 - Q34. Held for future release

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
Q35. If some form of performance-based compensation for teachers was implemented at your school, which do you think would be more likely to happen? (RANDOMIZE 1-2)

Based on those who teach in schools that do not offer performance pay

Principals would play favorites and reward teachers who are loyal to them or who donít rock the boat. (OR) 60% 54% 62%
It would give principals a way to reward the teachers who really help kids learn. (OR) 35% 46% 33%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 5% * 6%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
Q36. If some form of performance-based pay for teachers was implemented at your school, which do you think would be more likely to happen? (RANDOMIZE 1-2)

Based on those who teach in schools that do not offer performance pay

Instead of cooperation, there would be unhealthy competition and jealousy among teachers (OR) 73% 65% 74%
Teachers would be motivated to work harder and find ways to be more effective (OR) 25% 35% 23%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 2%
(n=823)
0%
(n=224)
2%
(n=593)

Q37.How much do you favor or oppose giving financial incentives or merit pay to each of the following groups of teachers? (RANDOMIZE a-h; ALWAYS ASK i LAST)

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
a. Teachers who consistently receive excellent evaluations by their principals Strongly favor 16% 17% 16%
Somewhat favor 37% 44% 36%
Somewhat oppose 20% 18% 21%
Strongly oppose 26% 19% 27%
DK/Ref. 1% 1% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
b. Teachers who consistently work harder, putting in more time and effort than other teachers Strongly favor 32% 25% 33%
Somewhat favor 33% 46% 30%
Somewhat oppose 13% 15% 13%
Strongly oppose 20% 13% 21%
DK/Ref. 2% 1% 2%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
c. Teachers whose students routinely score higher than similar students on standardized tests Strongly favor 11% 7% 12%
Somewhat favor 35% 33% 35%
Somewhat oppose 24% 34% 23%
Strongly oppose 28% 26% 29%
DK/Ref. 1% 1% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
d. Teachers whose kids consistently show academic growth during the school year Strongly favor 29% 28% 29%
Somewhat favor 37% 38% 36%
Somewhat oppose 13% 18% 12%
Strongly oppose 20% 15% 21%
DK/Ref. 2% 1% 2%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
e. Teachers who receive certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Strongly favor 22% 25% 21%
Somewhat favor 38% 45% 37%
Somewhat oppose 18% 14% 19%
Strongly oppose 20% 16% 21%
DK/Ref. 1% 1% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
f. Teachers who specialize in hard-to-fill subjects such as science or mathematics Strongly favor 16% 11% 18%
Somewhat favor 33% 33% 33%
Somewhat oppose 26% 34% 25%
Strongly oppose 23% 21% 23%
DK/Ref. 1% 1% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
g. Teachers who teach classes with hard-to-reach students Strongly favor 27% 25% 28%
Somewhat favor 41% 44% 40%
Somewhat oppose 14% 17% 14%
Strongly oppose 16% 12% 17%
DK/Ref. 1% 1% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
h. Teachers who work in tough neighborhoods with low performing schools Strongly favor 31% 24% 33%
Somewhat favor 40% 44% 40%
Somewhat oppose 14% 20% 13%
Strongly oppose 13% 9% 13%
DK/Ref. 1% 3% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
i. All the teachers in the school if the students routinely score higher than similar students on standardized tests Strongly favor 21% 20% 21%
Somewhat favor 35% 36% 35%
Somewhat oppose 21% 28% 20%
Strongly oppose 21% 16% 22%
DK/Ref. 2% 1% 2%

Q38 - Q39. Held for future release

Q40. How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements? (RANDOMIZE)

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
a. The union sometimes fights to protect teachers who really should be out of the classroom Strongly agree 22% 15% 23%
Somewhat agree 44% 45% 44%
Somewhat disagree 18% 14% 19%
Strongly disagree 7% 9% 7%
(VOL.) N/A 6% 11% 5%
DK/Ref. 3% 7% 2%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
b. Teachers facing unfair charges from parents or students would have nowhere to turn without the union. Strongly agree 49% 35% 52%
Somewhat agree 31% 47% 28%
Somewhat disagree 12% 6% 13%
Strongly disagree 4% 1% 4%
(VOL.) N/A 2% 4% 2%
DK/Ref. 2% 7% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
c. Without collective bargaining, the working conditions and salaries of teachers would be much worse. Strongly agree 51% 36% 54%
Somewhat agree 29% 38% 26%
Somewhat disagree 11% 13% 11%
Strongly disagree 3% 2% 4%
(VOL.) N/A 3% 5% 3%
DK/Ref. 2% 7% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
d. Without a union, teachers would be vulnerable to school politics or administrators who abuse their power. Strongly agree 51% 38% 54%
Somewhat agree 31% 33% 31%
Somewhat disagree 10% 11% 9%
Strongly disagree 4% 3% 4%
(VOL.) N/A 3% 8% 1%
DK/Ref. 2% 7% 1%

Q41 - Q42. Held for future release

Q43. For this next series of questions, Iíd like you to pretend you were considering transferring to a different school in your district. Would you prefer to move to a schoolÖ [RANDOMIZE THE DIFFERENT PAIRS OF ITEMS]

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
a.
To a school that has tenure and a guaranteed raise of three percent each year, but no opportunity for bonuses or merit pay? 74% 67% 75%
That does not offer tenure and set raises, but teachers can receive extra pay based on the principalís evaluation and their studentsí progress, OR 22% 27% 21%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 4% 6% 4%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
b.
To a school with a standard leadership and salary package, but where you will have more time for your own family and personal life? 64% 67% 63%
With a very dynamic and supportive principal and better salary potential, but where the teachers tend to work in the evenings and on weekends to keep up with their responsibilities, OR 33% 26% 35%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 3% 7% 2%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
c.
To a school that doesnít have as much technology, but in which no more than 22 students are ever in one classroom? 57% 64% 56%
That has cutting-edge technology for both faculty and students and allows you to be innovative with it but class size is generally greater than 22 students, OR 40% 30% 43%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 2% 6% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
d.
Where there is a lot of collaboration among teachers and guidance from other instructional experts in developing lesson plans, OR 67% 68% 67%
To a school with less collaboration but where teachers are freer to design their own lessons? 30% 26% 31%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 3% 6% 2%

Q44. Held for future release

Demographics


Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D1. Gender Male 25% 22% 26%
Female 73% 73% 73%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D2. Do you currently teach in a regular public school, a charter school, a private school or something else? Public 99% 100% 98%
Charter 1% * 2%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D3. Do you teach atÖ(READ) An elementary school, 51% 53% 51%
A middle or junior high school, 17% 17% 17%
A high school, OR 27% 28% 27%
Someplace else? (SPECIFY) 5% 3% 5%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused * 0% *

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D4. How many years have you been a teacher in the public schools? (READ) Less than 5 years 5% 25% *
5 Ė 10 years 24% 73% 14%
11 Ė 20 years 36% 2% 43%
More than 20 years 35% 0% 42%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused * 0% *

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D4b. How many years have you been teaching at your current school? (READ) Less than 5 years 17% 51% 10%
5 Ė 10 years 27% 47% 23%
11 Ė 20 years 37% 2% 44%
More than 20 years 18% 0% 22%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 1% * 1%

Total 18-32 / Gen-Y Total 33+ Undesignated 30+
D5. What is your age? [IF REFUSED AGE] Would you mind telling me if you are under 30 years of age, or age 30 or older? 17% 82% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D6. Have you received accreditation from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards? Yes 18% 17% 19%
No 79% 76% 79%
Donít know/Refused 3% 7% 2%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D7. In the past five years, have you ever received a financial bonus based on your individual performance? Yes 8% 7% 8%
No 90% 88% 91%
Donít know/Refused 2% 5% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D8. Have you participated in any elective professional development programs like college courses, seminars, or conferences that provide you with additional certification? Yes 83% 83% 83%
No 14% 12% 15%
Donít know/Refused 2% 5% 2%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D9. What subjects are you currently teaching? (PRECODED OPEN-END)

Based on middle or high schoolteachers

Math 23% 23% 23%
Science 17% 22% 16%
English 15% 28% 12%
Social Studies 22% 22% 22%
Foreign language 5% 2% 5%
ESL 1% 0% 1%
Special Ed 8% 3% 9%
Reading/Language arts 14% 24% 11%
Other (SPECIFY) 34% 22% 37%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 3% 7% 2%
(n=505) (n=112) (n=388)
Note: Total may exceed 100% due to multiple responses

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D10. Approximately what is your typical class size? (READ 1-3) Less than 15 10% 15% 10%
15-24 54% 52% 54%
25 or more 32% 26% 34%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 3% 7% 2%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D11. In a typical class, about how many of your students would be classified as having special needs? Would you sayÖ (READ 1-5) Virtually all 11% 15% 11%
Most 6% 5% 7%
Some 42% 35% 43%
Only a few, OR 37% 37% 37%
None of your students have special needs? 1% 2% 1%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 2% 5% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D12. Approximately what percentage of students in your school are eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program? Would you sayÖ(READ) 25% or under 22% 22% 22%
26%-50% 29% 30% 29%
51% or more 45% 41% 45%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 4% 7% 3%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D13. What path did you follow to become a teacher? Did youÖ(READ) Receive an undergraduate degree in a four-year college or university program, such as getting a major or minor in education 60% 75% 57%
Take a 5th year at college or in a university to get a degree in education 10% 4% 11%
Get a Masterís degree in education 20% 11% 22%
Take an alternative certification path, OR 6% 3% 6%
Something else? (SPECIFY) 2% 2% 2%
(DO NOT READ) Donít know/Refused 3% 5% 2%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D14. What is the LAST grade or class that you COMPLETED in school? (DO NOT READ) High School diploma or equivalent/Less than a 4-year college degree 2% 0% 2%
College graduate (B.S., B.A., or other 4-year degree) 18% 22% 18%
Some post-graduate training or professional schooling after college (In Masterís or Ph.D program) but no degree 30% 26% 31%
Masters, PH.D or other higher degree 48% 46% 48%
Donít know/Refused 2% 5% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D15. In college, did you major or minor in the subject area in which you are teaching, or not?

Based on middle or high schoolteachers

Yes 79% 78% 80%
No 19% 16% 20%
Donít know/Refused 2% 7% 1%
(n=505) (n=112) (n=388)

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D16. Are you teaching any subjects that do not match your current certification or area of study?
Yes 9% 8% 9%
No 89% 87% 90%
Donít know/Refused 2% 5% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D17. Are you currently a tenured teacher, or not?
Yes 77% 56% 82%
No 12% 36% 8%
(VOL.) Does not apply 8% 3% 9%
Donít know/Refused 2% 5% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D18. Thinking about the time you were in high school, would you characterize yourself asÖ(READ)
An excellent student 37% 42% 36%
A good student 48% 50% 48%
A fair student, OR 12% 2% 14%
A poor student? 1% * 2%
Donít know/Refused 2% 5% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D20. Are you, yourself, of Hispanic or Latino background, such as Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or some other Spanish background?
Yes 5% 2% 6%
No 92% 90% 93%
Donít know/Refused 3% 8% 1%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D21. What is your race? Are you white, black, Asian, or some other race? IF R SAYS HISPANIC OR LATINO, ASK: Do you consider yourself a WHITE Hispanic/Latino or a BLACK Hispanic/Latino?
White 86% 85% 86%
Black or African-American 7% 6% 7%
Asian 2% * 2%
Other/Mixed race (SPECIFY) 1% * 1%
Donít know/Refused 4% 9% 3%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D22. Are you married, LIVING as married, divorced, separated, widowed, or have you never been married?
Married 72% 71% 73%
Living as married 2% * 2%
Divorced 8% 0% 10%
Separated 1% 0% 1%
Widowed 1% 0% 1%
Never married/Single 13% 24% 11%
Donít know/Refused 3% 5% 2%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D23. Including yourself, how many people are there living in your household?
1 person household 12% 10% 13%
2 person household 31% 39% 30%
3 person household 23% 31% 21%
4 person household 20% 12% 22%
5 person household 8% 3% 9%
6 person household 3% * 3
7 person household * 0% *
8+ person household 0% 0% 0%
Donít know/Refused 3% 5% 2%

Total Gen Y Older Teachers
D24. How many of these people are children, under the age of 18?

Based on multi-person households

No children in household 47% 46% 47%
1 child in household 26% 37% 24%
2 children in household 18% 14% 20%
3 children in household 6% 3% 7%
4 children in household 2% * 2%
5 children in household 0% 0% 0%
6 children in household 0% 0% 0%
7 children in household 0% 0% 0%
8+ children in household 0% 0% 0%
Donít know/Refused 1% 0% 1%
(n=731) (n=185) (n=542)


Funding & Acknowledgements

Learning Point Associates is a nationally recognized, nonprofit education research and consulting organization with 25 years of experience working with educators and policymakers to transform education systems and student learning. Our reputation is built on a solid foundation of designing and conducting rigorous and relevant education research and evaluations; developing and delivering tools, services, and resources targeted at pressing education issues; and analyzing and synthesizing education policy trends and practices. Our professional staff of 150 continues to grow as our work expands both nationally and internationally. Our offices are located in Chicago, Washington, D.C, Naperville, Illinois; and New York. For more information, please visit http://www.learningpt.org.


Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving peopleís health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all peopleóespecially those with the fewest resourcesóhave access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.


The Joyce Foundation supports efforts to protect the natural environment of the Great Lakes, to reduce poverty and violence in the region, and to ensure that its people have access to good schools, decent jobs, and a diverse and thriving culture. We are especially interested in improving public policies, because public systems such as education and welfare directly affect the lives of so many people, and because public policies help shape private sector decisions about jobs, the environment, and the health of our communities. To ensure that public policies truly reflect public rather than private interests, we support efforts to reform the system of financing election campaigns.



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Retaining Teacher Talent

The View from Generation Y

Media Type: PDF

The observations in this report are based on a national, random-sample survey of 890 public school teachers conducted in spring and summer 2009.

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