Current State of the Teacher Workforce

In October 2018, Richard Ingersoll updated his landmark report, The Transformation of the Teaching Force. The most recent findings point to serious implications for the workforce. Ingersoll states that it should serve as a wake-up call to better understand the problems teachers face today.

Findings By // Richard Ingersoll

Professor of Education and Sociology,
University of Pennsylvania GSE

The teacher workforce is
larger than it was 30 years ago

The rate of increase for teachers has far outpaced the rate of increase for students.

Why are there more teachers?

Increased demand for:

  • smaller class sizes
  • more STEM specialists
  • more special education teachers
  • more ESL teachers


65% increase of public school teachers,
24% increase of public school students.


1 in 10 teachers leave after their first year.

But teachers are leaving the
workforce at an alarming rate

First-year teachers are leaving before they’ve had the chance to gain more experience so they can teach effectively.

Turnover rate for teachers of color is around 20%.
While the percentage of teachers of color increased from 13.1% in 1987-88 to 19.9% in 2015-16, teachers of color are leaving the profession at high rates.
Schools experiencing the highest rates of turnover tend to be low-income, majority students of color, urban and rural public schools.
½ of all public school teacher turnover occurs in 25% of the population of schools.

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