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The author discusses the high teacher attrition rate that is particularly acute in the sciences, and that especially affects talented, high-quality teachers. He discusses institutional factors that contribute to such an alarming attrition rate, barriers to curbing attrition, and successful strategies for retention. To attract and retain high-quality teachers, the education system must address science teachers' sense of professional isolation, administrators' lack of receptivity to thoughtful teachers' ideas, egalitarian salary compensation schemes, and lack of professional recognition. An outstanding chemistry teacher-turned-pharmaceutical saleswoman is profiled as an example of wasted talent. Two Internet programs may reduce isolation.
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