Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

Abstract

Education reform and policy efforts have focused a great deal on teachers over the past decade or more. Reform efforts focused on accountability have altered how teachers are paid, how they spend their time, how they are evaluated, what they are accountable for, and what sort of control they have over their daily tasks. At the same time, teacher attrition continues to rise. This study employed principal component analysis (PCA) on a subset of questions from the National Center for Education Statistics' (NCES) 2007-2008 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) and 2008-2009 Teacher Follow-up Survey (TFS) data. I examined the extent to which a variety of professional experiences, including school and classroom conditions and aspects of accountability reform (e.g., the influence of student assessments on curriculum; teaching; and salary and benefits), are related to teachers' decisions to change schools or exit the job of teaching, particularly by gender and by age (generation). Overall, after life-course related reasons (e.g., family and health), teachers often make decisions to change schools or leave the profession based on experiences with their school (e.g., dissatisfaction with an administrator) or their classroom (e.g., student discipline issues). Some groups of teachers, especially men and those from Generation Y, also report leaving the profession due to dissatisfaction with aspects of teacher accountability reform. Several considerations for future research are offered.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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