Date of Award

5-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Suzanne King

Second Advisor

Kelly Burlison

Third Advisor

James W. Guthrie

Abstract

Student achievement and school quality both suffer when there is high a rate of high teacher turnover (Adnot, Dee, Katz, & Wyckoff, 2016; Borman & Dowling, 2008) and retaining high-quality teachers has become a major challenge (TNTP, 2012). A quantitative, non-experimental research study was conducted through an electronic exit survey (Cronbach’s alpha =.811) to attempt to better understand factors which may have led K-12 classroom teachers across to leave a large urban public school district during a five-year period. Of those who participated (n=252), 79.3% cited more than one reason for departure. The top three reasons cited for leaving were: inadequate salary (55.2%), stress on the job (46.0%), and dissatisfaction with supervisor (34.5%), though no factors were found to be statistically significant. Data from this study reveal the importance of an in-depth exit survey allowing departing classroom teachers to cite more than one factor for leaving, and, the level of impact that each factor had on their decision so that the data may be monitored by school district leaders to address areas of concern if statistically significant patterns are found which may lead to a higher teacher retention rate, substantial budgetary savings and increased student achievement.

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