High-stakes tests blamed for high teacher turnover

Georgia’s top school leader says there is a “growing crisis” in public schools that is driven by the focus on high-stakes tests.

Seeking to understand what has been causing a high “dropout” rate among new teachers, State Superintendent Richard Woods called for an online survey that appears to have attracted a vast swath of the the state’s teachers. The top complaint: the number of mandatory tests and their use in judging job performance.

» PHOTOS: The top 8 reasons why Georgia teachers are leaving the profession

» LEARN MORE: Read the survey results here

“I love my time with my students, but I would never choose this path again,” a respondent identified as a Gwinnett County veteran of elementary school teaching wrote.

Woods ordered the survey after hearing that 44 percent of new Georgia teachers leave the profession within five years. He said he will work with the state school board and lawmakers to reduce the amount of testing required for higher-performing students. But Gov. Nathan Deal has said he will ask the Georgia General Assembly to implement merit-based pay for teachers, which could ratchet up the testing pressure.

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