School of Education News

USA Today shares comments from UW-Madison’s Goff in article on teacher retention

September 13, 2019

USA Today shared comments from UW-Madison’s Peter Goff, among other experts, in an article exploring the struggle to retain teachers in rural schools. 

Goff is an assistant professor with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis

According to USA Today, finding teachers to settle in rural districts has become a very difficult task. Potential educators often turn away due to declining populations, isolated schools, low pay, and more. 

The article highlights a school in a northern Wisconsin town, of about 1,000 residents, which has found itself scrambling yet again to fill open teaching positions. After a losing 40 percent of its faculty, the Wabeno district has found itself alongside rural districts all over the country — struggling with how to recruit and retain teachers, especially when there are lots of other job options for graduates. 

To better understand the plight of rural schools, USA Today looked to experts for insight, including Goff. 

Goff tells USA Today that, despite popular belief, throwing money at the problem doesn’t always help. He explains that educators value strong support systems, good school leadership, and welcoming communities just as much as higher pay. 

“Some people see (increasing compensation) as some sort of panacea, without understanding how other factors fit into it,” Goff tells USA Today.

Read the USA Today article here

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