Teacher Turnover

School environment key to retaining teachers, promoting student achievement, study finds

Brown University


We study the relationship between school organizational contexts, teacher turnover, and student achievement in New York City (NYC) middle schools. Using factor analysis, we construct measures of four distinct dimensions of school climate captured on the annual NYC School Survey. We identify credible estimates by isolating variation in organizational contexts within schools over time. We find that improvements in school leadership especially, as well as in academic expectations, teacher relationships, and school safety are all independently associated with corresponding reductions in teacher turnover. Increases in school safety and academic expectations also correspond with student achievement gains. These results are robust to a range of threats to validity suggesting that our findings are consistent with an underlying causal relationship.

Article Information

Kraft, M. A., Marinell, W. H., & Yee, D. S.-W. (2016). School Organizational Contexts, Teacher Turnover, and Student Achievement: Evidence From Panel Data. American Educational Research Journal, 53(5), 1411–1449. https://doi.org/10.3102/0002831216667478

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