Holding on to a New Generation of Teachers

Like school districts across the nation, Vancouver School District (Vancouver, Washington) is confronting the challenge of finding, employing, and retaining great teachers in an extremely challenging and competitive labor market. The challenge has been complicated in that two-thirds of Vancouver’s 1,300 full time teachers have or will become eligible for retirement within a single five-year window. At the same time, Washington State has slipped to eighteenth in compensation.

Today, four years into the retirement window, Vancouver has replaced seventy percent of its full time teachers and is reaping the benefits of a cumulative retention rate of 91%. The key is a systemic-based reinvention of the human resource management program, a systemic model consisting of changes in compensation, extended duties, assessment and evaluation, professional growth and development, recruitment, interviewing, and mentoring and induction.