Over the next four years, more than a third of the nation’s 3.2 million teachers could retire, depriving classrooms of experienced instructors, reports the New York Times. The problem is aggravated by high attrition among rookie teachers, with one of every three new teachers leaving the profession within five years–a loss of talent that costs school districts millions in recruiting and training expenses, says a report by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, a nonprofit research advocacy group. "The traditional teaching career is collapsing at both ends," the report says. "Beginners are being driven away" by low pay and frustrating working conditions, and "accomplished veterans who still have much to contribute are being separated from their schools by obsolete retirement systems" that encourage teachers to move from paycheck to pension when they are still in their mid-50s. To ease the exodus, the report says, policy makers should restructure schools and modify state retirement policies so that thousands of the best veteran teachers can stay on in the classroom to mentor inexperienced teachers. Reorganizing schools around what the report calls learning teams, a model already in place in some schools in Boston, could ease the strain on pension systems, raise student achievement, and help young teachers survive their first, often traumatic years in the classroom…

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