Edited from a Press Release

Arlington, Va. – A new report released  by Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Appalachia about teacher retention, attrition and mobility in West Virginia shows mixed results. The report,Retention, Attrition, and Mobility Among Teachers and Administrators in West Virginia,” found that:

¾      About 90 percent of classroom teachers and 88 percent of administrators stayed in the same West Virginia school district from one year to the next. 

¾      Nearly one-third (32 percent) of beginning teachers left the system within four years.

¾      Administrator turnover was higher than teacher turnover, especially in rural districts.

¾      Both teacher and administrator turnover rates were higher in rural, high-poverty districts.


REL Appalachia partnered with the West Virginia School Leadership Research Alliance to conduct this study, which looked at average retention, attrition and mobility rates between 2008/09 and 2012/13 and how these rates varied by teacher or administratorcharacteristics and by district characteristics. The report also provides average rates for each district in the state.


“This report highlights a huge priority for West Virginia right now, which is ensuring equitable access to high-quality teachers and leaders in every county in the state,” said Dr. Michael Martirano, West Virginia superintendent of schools. “Losing 10 percent of teachers equates to 2,000 West Virginia teachers each year. That number has increased since 2013, and is higher in certain parts of the state. We hope to use this report as a basis for discussing how West Virginia can get serious about improving teacher and administrator recruitment and retention.”


Click here to read the full report.REL Appalachia has also developed a short summary of the report. Click here for a summary of the study findings.For more information, contact Liza Cordeiro at REL Appalachia at lcordeiro@cna.org or 202-650-4456.


REL Appalachia, one of 10 federal RELs administered by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, serves Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. REL Appalachia partners with regionally based research alliances made up of schools, districts and state departments of education to conduct research on K–12 education. The results are shared with educators, who can put this new knowledge to work for students.