Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Barbara Hill, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Darrell Groves, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Trevor Turner, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine public school educators’ perceptions of factors driving teacher attrition and the variables studied in correlation to attrition issues in a select rural school district in the state of Mississippi. The findings of this study will inform local and district level school leaders through providing an indifferent perception on teacher attrition in one school district in the state of Mississippi while giving insight on why teachers are exiting the field. It will further serve as a guide for national leaders to revisit recruitment and retention methods currently used while identifying new and innovative methods for decreasing attrition rates and at the same time building a sense of stability within low performing schools. Both qualitative and quantitative data were compiled and synthesized while considering descriptive and inferential statistics to recognize emergent themes for implications of teacher retention.

The findings of the study concluded that elementary teachers were more likely to be in greater agreement about teacher orientation programs than were high school teachers. Middle school teachers scored lower on teacher attrition than did teachers in elementary school, indicating that middle school teachers may be more inclined to think about leaving the teaching profession. Four of the attrition indicators (school culture, teacher evaluation accountability measures, academic learning outcomes, and instructional feedback) were statistically significant predictors of teacher attrition. The findings in this study also revealed that teachers with less experience are more inclined to leave the profession than those with more experience.

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