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Quality Teachers and Retention in the State of Pennsylvania

McCalla, Tracy Lynn (2006) Quality Teachers and Retention in the State of Pennsylvania. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The purpose of this study was to describe school working conditions perceived by beginning teachers about their first year of teaching in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The specific working conditions that were examined were those identified in the research as contributing to either teacher retention or attrition. The researcher developed three research questions that guided her study. The Pennsylvania State Board of Education aided the researcher in reaching a random sample of Instructional I certificate holders by mail. The letter asked potential subjects to log on to the state board's website and complete an electronic survey concerning the conditions surrounding their first year of teaching in Pennsylvania. Two hundred and seventy-nine certificate holders, who had completed one, two, or three years of teaching, completed the survey. The researcher surmised that the poor response rate was due to insufficient addresses and large numbers of certificate holders who are not currently teaching or not currently teaching in Pennsylvania. Quantitative data were analyzed using percentages, means, and standard deviations. The researcher applied qualitative analysis to interpret the data obtained from the open-ended questions concerning induction programs at the end of the survey.The results of this study indicated that approximately 26% of survey respondents said they had left teaching altogether or had migrated to another school district. The researcher also found that some of the workplace conditions identified in the literature were causes for this rate of attrition. Many respondents felt their schedule was the same or more challenging than those of veteran teachers, while over half said they taught four or more subjects a day. Many said they were unhappy with their salary and administrative support, citing these as reasons for migrating to other school districts or leaving the teaching profession altogether.Another important finding is that nearly all Pennsylvania teachers participated in an induction program. However, many respondents felt the content of the induction program was impractical and felt time spent in induction could have been better spent in preparing lessons.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
McCalla, Tracy
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKerr, Mary Margaret
Committee MemberTrovato, Charlene
Committee Member Gorman, Charles
Committee Member Bickel, William
Date: 2 May 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 8 December 2005
Approval Date: 2 May 2006
Submission Date: 16 January 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: merit pay; quality teacher; teacher attrition; teacher efficacy; teacher retention
Other ID:, etd-01162006-092450
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:31
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:36


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