Factors affecting teacher retention in a local school district.


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Teacher turnover is high in many school systems throughout the world. However, school systems in a small number of countries consistently present low annual teacher turnover rates. A growing body of research shows that school systems which implement a career-based labor market structure for teacher recruitment and selection experience lower teacher turnover. Conversely, systems that implement a position-based labor market structure for teacher recruitment and selection are often plagued with high rates of teacher turnover. The position-based K-12 public education system in the United States has a high teacher turnover rate that ranges from eight to 16 percent annually. In America, teacher turnover is greatest in southern urban and suburban K-12 public school districts. Furthermore, American teachers are most likely to leave the profession within their first five years of teaching. This case study seeks to comprehend the experiences of this highest teacher turnover group in one of the highest-turnover district types in the nation. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to understand first- through fifth-year teachers’ perceptions related to staying in or leaving a southern U.S. suburban K-12 public school district. This study will seek to understand these teachers’ perceptions through the theoretical framework of the teacher labor market structure. Ultimately, the study will seek to determine if incorporating career-based elements into a position-based system can be a valuable and viable strategy for reducing teacher turnover.



Teacher turnover. Teacher attrition. Career-based system. Position-based system. Labor market structure. Civil service.