Strategies for attracting and retaining educators: What does the evidence say?


  • Anne Podolsky Learning Policy Institute
  • Tara Kini Learning Policy Institute
  • Linda Darling-Hammond Learning Policy Institute
  • Joseph Bishop Center for the Transformation of Schools, University of California Los Angeles



teacher quality, recruitment, retention, teacher development


A highly competent teacher workforce is a necessary foundation for improving children’s educational outcomes, especially for those who rely most on schools for their success. Yet in the United States, shortages in the teaching force have been growing across the country, reaching crisis proportions in some teaching fields— such as mathematics, science, and special education—and in locations where wages and working conditions are least attractive. We analyzed recent research and representative survey data to identify the drivers of teacher recruitment and retention. We also reviewed the policy literature to identify district, state, and federal policy strategies that have been effective at addressing the factors influencing teachers’ professional decisions. These policies include increasing their compensation and improving their preparation, professional support, and working conditions, as well as improving district and school management practices that otherwise create obstacles to recruitment and retention.



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Author Biographies

Anne Podolsky, Learning Policy Institute

Anne Podolsky is a Researcher and Policy Analyst at the Learning Policy Institute. Her research focuses on improving educational opportunities and outcomes, especially for students from underserved communities.

Tara Kini, Learning Policy Institute

Tara Kini serves as the Learning Policy Institute’s Director of State Policy. Kini has nearly two decades of experience working in public education as a civil rights attorney, classroom teacher, and teacher educator.

Linda Darling-Hammond, Learning Policy Institute

Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond is President of the Learning Policy Institute and Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University. She has conducted extensive research on issues of educator supply, demand, and quality. Among her award-winning publications in this area are What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future; Teaching as the Learning Profession; Powerful Teacher Education; and Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and Be Able to Do.

Joseph Bishop, Center for the Transformation of Schools, University of California Los Angeles

Dr. Joseph Bishop is Director of the Center for the Transformation of Schools (CTS) at UCLA. Before UCLA, Bishop was a senior policy advisor with the Learning Policy Institute. Bishop oversaw the organization’s school resourcing portfolio and supported state efforts to address teaching shortages and build quality early care and education systems.




How to Cite

Podolsky, A., Kini, T., Darling-Hammond, L., & Bishop, J. (2019). Strategies for attracting and retaining educators: What does the evidence say?. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 27, 38.



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