In 2022, after increasing pressures from the COVID pandemic and a shifting political climate, the nation’s largest teachers’ union warned that over half of teachers were considering exiting the teaching profession. National news media warned of a coming “mass exodus” of teachers. Locally, the Baltimore Banner reported in summer 2022 that Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) alone had more than 1,000 vacancies to fill prior to fall, and district administrators warned parents to expect teacher shortages.
More recent national and local work suggests that such anecdotal and survey evidence in the media is often not supported by administrative data and that reports of a teacher exodus are often exaggerated or incorrect. In this report, Entry and Exit of Baltimore City Teachers Before and After COVID, researcher Jane Arnold Lincove reviews administrative data on teacher employment to investigate whether Baltimore City Schools has experienced changes in teacher supply due to COVID.
This report seeks to provide policymakers, educational stakeholders, and the public at large with a clearer picture of teacher exit and entry from City Schools both before and during COVID, by tracking entry and exit over time from 2016 to 2022 using a state database of public school teachers and their employment over time.
Descriptive evidence on teacher entry and exit from 2016 to 2022 illustrates that teacher retention rates in City Schools actually improved over pre-COVID levels. However, the post-COVID period also saw an increase in the number of new teachers hired with temporary teaching certificates. This suggests that City Schools faces new challenges to recruit and develop the next generation of teachers for Baltimore students.
Key takeaways from the report’s analysis are:
DISCLAIMER: This research was supported in part by the Maryland Longitudinal Data System (MLDS) Center. We are grateful for the assistance provided by the MLDS Center. All opinions are the author’s and do not represent the opinion of the MLDS Center or its partner agencies.