The Challenge of Teacher Retention in Urban Schools: Evidence of Variation from a Cross-Site Analysis

40 Pages Posted: 20 May 2015 Last revised: 1 Aug 2017

See all articles by John P. Papay

John P. Papay

Brown University

Andrew Bacher-Hicks

Harvard University

Lindsay C. Page

University of Pittsburgh School of Education

William Marinell

Harvard University - Center for Education Policy Research

Date Written: February 2017

Abstract

Substantial teacher turnover poses a challenge to staffing public schools with effective teachers. The scope of the teacher retention challenge across districts, however, remains poorly defined. Applying consistent data practices and analytical techniques to administrative datasets from 16 urban districts, we document substantial cross-district variation in teacher retention rates. Observable characteristics do not easily explain this cross-district variation. We also find considerable cross-district variation in key results from the retention literature, including the relationship between retention and both experience and estimated effectiveness. Finally, we explore the influence of temporary leaves of absence and cross-district, within-state movement on retention estimates. Accounting for cross-district movement matters little, while temporary leaves matter a great deal in many districts.

Keywords: teacher retention; teacher turnover; cross-site variation

JEL Classification: I21, J45

Suggested Citation

Papay, John P. and Bacher-Hicks, Andrew and Page, Lindsay C. and Marinell, William, The Challenge of Teacher Retention in Urban Schools: Evidence of Variation from a Cross-Site Analysis (February 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2607776 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2607776

John P. Papay (Contact Author)

Brown University ( email )

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States

Andrew Bacher-Hicks

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Lindsay C. Page

University of Pittsburgh School of Education ( email )

135 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-648-7166 (Phone)

William Marinell

Harvard University - Center for Education Policy Research ( email )

50 Church Street, 4th floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
568
Abstract Views
1,971
rank
47,908
PlumX Metrics