schoolAre teachers leaving Jeffco and Dougco in droves because of “dramatic policy changes” implemented by these districts that are not controlled by the unions?

That’s what Chalkbeat suggests in a recent report on turnover rates. Citing new data from the Colorado Department of Education, Chalkbeat said teacher turnover is the highest it’s been in 15 years. “This is especially true in rural districts and in areas where dramatic policy changes have gone into effect in recent years.”

In Douglas County, Jefferson County, and the Thompson school district, where more conservative school boards riled some staff, students, and community members with new policies, more teachers are leaving the districts than in the past.

In Douglas County, the biggest jump was between 2012-13, when 13 percent of teachers left, and 2013-14, when 17 percent left.

In Jefferson County, teacher turnover increased from 10 percent to 15 percent between 2013-14 and 2014-15. And in the Thompson, the teacher turnover rate jumped from 13 percent to 20 percent in the same timeframe.

So, the message here is, teachers are happiest and won’t leave their jobs if unions are allowed to run amok and use their students to fight their battles.

That certainly is a lot of interpretation from a select handful of numbers. Other turnover rates are mentioned, but these are the only schools where the elected board is blamed. The article does note in the 14th paragraph and beyond two massive graphics, that rates in Jefferson and Douglas Counties are “still lower than in more urban and less-affluent districts.”

We noted that in the top 20 largest school districts showcased in the article, ten schools had higher turnover rates than Jeffco, and nine schools had higher turnover rates than Dougco.

Harrison 2 had a turnover rate of 32 percent, while Denver Public Schools and Aurora Public Schools had rates of 22 percent. Then there’s Karval RE-23 that had an 81 percent turnover rate, Pritchett RE-3 had 67 percent and Liberty J-4 had 64 percent.

The count itself is suspect, and excludes important information like school closings, or teacher reassignment within the same district.

But, if the trend truly is towards higher turnover, it’s obviously not due to a lack of union control. More likely, the trend signals that the economy is strengthening, and teachers feel more confident about expanding their horizons.