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Staying or leaving? Teacher professional characteristics and attrition in Arizona traditional public and charter schools

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Published: 2022-02-15

Authors

Margarita Pivovarova

Arizona State University

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2965-7423

Jeanne M. Powers

Arizona State University

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5197-6546

Keywords: teacher attrition; traditional public schools; charter schools; teacher experience; teacher certification

Abstract

In this study, we analyzed public school teacher employment data from 2009 to 2015 to understand why teacher attrition is 54% higher in charter schools compared to traditional public schools. We investigated the factors associated with the differences in exit rates of teachers from traditional public and charter schools in Arizona which has a large charter school sector. Our findings suggest that the major factors behind the gap in retention rates between school sectors in Arizona are teachers’ professional characteristics: less experienced teachers and teachers with alternative certification are more likely to exit schools and, in particular, charter schools which also employ a significantly larger share of these teachers. We argue that charter school and school district leadership might consider interventions, mentoring, and support for teachers in the early stages of their career targeted at novice teachers.

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Author Biographies

Margarita Pivovarova

Arizona State University

Margarita Pivovarova is an associate professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Her research focuses on the relationship between student achievement, teacher quality, and school contextual factors.

Jeanne M. Powers

Arizona State University

Jeanne M. Powers is a professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University. She received her PhD in sociology from the University of California, San Diego. Her research interests include school segregation, school choice, the academic achievement of immigrant students, the teacher workforce, and issues of equity and access in education policy more broadly.

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Published: 2022-02-15

How to Cite

Pivovarova, M., & Powers, J. M. (2022). Staying or leaving? Teacher professional characteristics and attrition in Arizona traditional public and charter schools. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 30, (19). https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.30.6459