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Two Years Later: How COVID-19 has Shaped the Teacher Workforce

The unprecedented challenges of teaching during COVID-19 prompted fears of a mass exodus from the profession. We examine the extent to which these fears were realized using administrative records of Massachusetts teachers between 2015-16 and 2021-22. Relative to pre-pandemic levels, average turnover rates were similar going into the fall of 2020 but increased by 17 percent going into the fall of 2021. The fall 2021 increases were particularly high among newly hired teachers (31 percent increase), but were lower among Black and Hispanic/Latinx teachers (5 percent increases among both groups). Ethnoracial diversity of new hires increased during the pandemic, in part due to reduced professional licensure requirements. Together, these changes led to small increases in the overall ethnoracial diversity of Massachusetts teachers, but improvements to early-career retention will be needed to ensure long-term stability and diversity within the workforce.

Teachers, Turnover, Covid, Licensure
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Bacher-Hicks, Andrew, Olivia L. Chi, and Alexis Orellana. (). Two Years Later: How COVID-19 has Shaped the Teacher Workforce. (EdWorkingPaper: 22-572). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University:

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