Teacher Retention and the Impact of North Carolina’s New Definition of a Low-performing School Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Giles, Janice
    • Affiliation: School of Education, Educational Leadership Graduate Program
  • Teachers are a resource, and equitable resource allocation must include the equitable distribution of teachers across all schools. Previous research has found that high poverty and minority students are more likely to be taught by inexperienced and unqualified teachers, and teachers frequently leave schools serving these students for schools with fewer disadvantaged students (Boyd, Lankford, Loeb, & Wyckoff, 2005; Goldring, Taie, & Riddles, 2014; Hanushek, Kain, & Rivkin, 2004; Ingersoll, 2004; Loeb, Darling-Hammond, & Luczak, 2005). Further, previous research indicates that the challenges these schools face retaining effective teachers is due to poor working conditions, not teachers’ discontent with their students (Boyd et al., 2011; Johnson, Kraft, & Papay, 2012; Ladd, 2011). These findings establish a need to investigate how current polices may have contributed to the disparities in teacher retention rates. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of North Carolina’s new definition of a low-performing school on teacher retention and teacher working conditions. This study used a quantitative causal-comparative design and analyzed secondary administrative data files from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction as well as survey data from the North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions Survey. Data analysis was conducted using descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis. The results showed that newly designated low-performing schools had lower average teacher retention rates and lower average North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions Survey results than other schools in the state. Multiple regression analysis found that the relationship between the state’s new definition of a low-performing school and teacher retention rates was not statistically significant, and the relationship between the state’s new definition of a low-performing school and teacher working condition survey results was statistically significant. Findings indicate that the state’s new definition a low-performing school negatively impacted teacher working conditions at newly designated low-performing schools and suggest that these schools will need to improve teacher working conditions in order to raise teacher retention rates to the state average.
Date of publication
Resource type
  • Domina, Thurston
  • Gibbs, Brian
  • Wynn, Susan
  • English, Fenwick
  • Aiken, Charles
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2018

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