What Influences Teacher Turnover?: The Effects of Teacher, Student, Principal, and School Administration Characteristics
Achievement gaps by race and income have drawn attention to the higher rates of teacher attrition at schools serving disadvantaged students. There might be a vicious cycle: teachers are more likely to leave schools where the students are more difficult to work with, and the continual churn of teachers adversely affects school climate and student performance, making it even harder to retain teachers. Some evidence supports this hypothesis that school working conditions influence teacher turnover, but a better understanding of how different factors affect turnover, particularly as they interact with each other, would help policymakers looking for ways to increase teacher retention. In this study, I explore four categories of factors that might affect teacher turnover: teacher characteristics, including salary; demographic and behavioral characteristics of the school's student body; principal characteristics, such as teaching and administrative experience; and school administration characteristics that describe how the school is run, namely teachers' opinion of the school's administrators, the degree of teacher autonomy, and the strength of teacher influence over school policy. Using nationally-representative data about teacher transitions from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2000-2001 school year, I find that job satisfaction and many teacher characteristics are the factors most strongly associated with teacher turnover. School behavior problems and all three administration characteristics indirectly influence turnover via their effect on job satisfaction. Principal characteristics matter little, as do student race and poverty after controlling for teacher and administration variables.
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The Effects of Charter School Competition on Enrollment Trends and Teacher-reported School-level Policies and Behaviors in the District of Columbia Public Schools Sullivan, Margaret; Sullivan, Margaret (2007-04-17)Student enrollment in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) has decreased by almost twenty-five percent in less than a decade. This trend can largely be attributed to student migration to charter schools within ...