I am really excited to share some more results from my study of the teachers who have left Oklahoma. I am still analyzing some of the open ended responses but I have analyzed enough of the results that I feel confident sharing some of the results with you as I continue to add depth to the study and its results. Normally in research, we would not be able to share results within the a month of starting a study – however this is such a current problem, and we need to be talking about what I am learning from this study.
To remind you, my research questions were:
Why are teachers leaving Oklahoma?
What is the cost to Oklahoma by this exodus?
What must change for teachers to return?
For each graphic, I am embedding the graphic from Pictochart so that you can click on the graphic and see the data and interact with it. If the format of the blog is too hard to do this, I have included a link that will open in a new window.
So after looking at all this, what are my thoughts as a researcher related to the Oklahoma teacher exodus crisis?
1)Most of the teachers left recently, they miss their families and 31% would be willing to return.
2) The problems they are talking about make sense – They are not making enough money as teachers to pay down their student loans, have a reliable car, and achieve benchmarks of success like buying a home.
3) It is about more than money. Teachers want to feel respected and valued as part of their communities. Their community is their local community but also their state as a whole. They are committed to building their communities and they want to feel supported by them.
4) Teachers are important members of our communities. We need them in our communities as members of neighborhoods and institutions. We need to create an environment where they can be afford to part of them.
5) More than 50% of teachers who left had degrees beyond their bachelors. These were highly trained teachers. Replacing them with emergency certified teachers is not an equivalent trade.
6) Here’s the big one: if we think that we are feeling the effect of this teacher exodus phenomenon right now.. just wait. If we don’t fix it quickly, 5 years from now, we will see the effects in the education of level of our next generation. This will affect our economy, and our future as a state. THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW!!!
Feel free to browse my most updated map with Salary Differences. Each marker is set to the new city and titled with the Oklahoma City if available salary difference is shared