Factors Contributing to the Turnover Rate of Teachers at State Controlled Schools

Denese Miller, Walden University


Retaining teachers in schools across America is a constant challenge in education, specifically for low-performing schools. Recently, teacher turnover has increased, with reports showing that 2.7 million teachers closed their classroom doors permanently and another 2.1 million teachers left the profession prior to retirement. The purpose of this study was to examine the relative importance of 4 factors--teacher support, organization, school climate, and accountability--on teachers' intentions to leave the profession. The theoretical foundation for this study was provided by the Herzberg's motivation to work theory and Alderfer's existence, relatedness, and growth theory. A causal comparative quantitative research design was employed, and the Teacher Turnover Survey was administered to 41 middle and high school teachers to determine differences in their ratings of the 4 factors. A repeated-measures ANOVA revealed that teachers were most likely to leave the profession due to accountability demands created by high stakes testing, an unsafe school climate, lack of administrative support, and a high level of instructional demand. Based upon these findings, it is recommended that school administrators in low-performing schools create safer environments, reduce pressures created by high stakes testing and instructional demands, and provide greater administrative support. These actions may positively impact social change by increasing teacher retention, decreasing teacher turnover, and creating greater teacher continuity, resulting in improved instruction for students.