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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Both in Tennessee and across the nation, teachers are leaving the profession after only a few years on the job, making the average teacher more and more inexperienced.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports there are many factors contributing to the change.

Regulations governing who can become a teacher and who can retain a license have tightened, especially in Tennessee. Some teachers are entering the profession as a second career. And a growing number of educators see teaching not as a career but a pit stop.

Programs such as Teach for America require only a two-year commitment.

Research shows that beginning teachers grow more effective over the first few years on the job, though it is debated exactly if and when experience stops playing a role in student achievement.