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Being in a profession that receives much criticism--much of it undeserved--can significantly affect the morale of teachers and their desire to stay in the profession. Much of the conventional wisdom regarding schools and families is inaccurate. National test scores have increased, not declined, over the past few years, and minorities have made significant gains. Researchers can contribute to teacher retention by "getting the message right" about what has happened in education over the past 20 years and the important contributions teachers have made to the goal of reducing inequality in educational outcomes among poor and lower-achieving youth.

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