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The importance of churn needs greater study


Flight Director
Flight Instructor
Bonich, Merlina, and Porter (2012) describe churn as instability among school personnel. Anyone involved in schooling knows that education churn is a constant background noise occurring in urban schools. As the authors suggest, it is a fact of life on many school campuses.

Most important, the authors suggest churn is not included as a variable in research regarding teacher turnover and attrition.

I agree that instability among personnel (admin, staff, and teachers) is an important variable missing in research. The instability is not just teachers quitting but teachers taking on new assignments, changing the subject they teach, changing their schedule from year to year, and changing schools.

Bonich, R., Merlina, J., & Porter, A. C. (2012, April). Where teachers are treated like widgets, education suffers. Education Week, 31(27), 20-21.
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Master of None
Flight Instructor
Churn is the wrong term. Churn assumes that a different product will be made (e.g., butter). In the case of academic churn, the only product made is a mess which wastes money. Nothing good comes out of school reforms because of the instability created by a weak set of goals.

Robert Heiny

Research Scientist of Learning and Education
Flight Instructor
Mickey, did you loose your sorts (are you out of sorts?) or are you Grumpy pretending to be one of my best friends from Disney Studios?

I agree with you that the word "churn" seems inconsistent with Disneyland. It is, however, consist with what employees do in a growing, thriving business, such as Intel, Microsoft, etc. So, maybe it's a good thing that personnel churn in and through public schools. Yes?

As I read your comment, you challenge Flight Director's description of the situation in urban schools that implicitly all teachers are interchangable for schedules, assignments to instruction and for classroom management, etc. That has been the teachers' union's principle argument for increased pay for teachers for decades. Are you challenging the application of that principle in public schools?