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Vogel, Linda

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Teaching is a profession facing many challenges; among the greatest is high teacher turnover, which is even greater in high-poverty schools. Working conditions are ranked lower in high-poverty schools, contributing to the increased turnover in those schools. Principals have a high impact on teacher turnover, second in impact only to socio-economic status. The purpose of this study was to examine principal actions at schools that serve high poverty areas that are able to retain teachers. A qualitative case study was conducted where a high-poverty school was selected with approximately 80% teacher retention, allowing room for the principal to remove ineffective teachers. The school was a Title I school, indicating a poverty level of above 75%, and had a principal who had been at the school for over 10 years. Principal longevity was noted to ensure identified actions could be attributed to the current principal and also allow the principal to have been at the school for three normal school years prior to the pandemic. The school had a ranking of performance on their school performance framework to ensure retention was supporting achievement. Fourteen people were interviewed including 11 teachers in different tenures, the principal’s supervisor, the assistant principal, and the principal in order to gain an understanding of principal actions that were able to support teacher retention in this high-poverty school. Principal actions identified in this study as having an impact on teachers' decision to remain at the school were positive recognition, support, protected planning time, shared decision making, high expectations, consistency, and relationships.


136 pages

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