Principal Turnover,Teacher Turnover and Quality, and Student Achievement Ed Fuller, PhD University Council for Educational Administration and The University of Texas at Austin
Research Questions What are the rates of principal turnover and how do they compare to the teacher turnover rates? Does principal stability impact teacher quality and retention? If so, how do leaders affect teacher quality and retention? How do school leaders impact student achievement?
Percentage of Schools with Selected Number of Changes in Leadership (2003 to 2007)
Insert 5 year employment analyses • 95-00 • 98-04 • 01-07
These rates are similar to those in:Missouri New York MaineSo Texas is not an aberration.
Three Reasons 1. School reform takes time
Three Reasons • School reform takes time • 2. Principal turnover negatively affects teacher retention, teacher quality, and student achievement
Three Reasons School reform takes time 2. Principal turnover negatively affects teacher retention, teacher quality, and student achievement 3. Stability is needed to develop strong, trusting relationships and more positive working conditions
“The total time frame from initiation to institutionalization is lengthy, [and] even moderately complex changes take from three to five years, while major restructuring efforts can take five to ten years” Michael Fullan, The New Meaning of Educational Change (New York: Teachers College Press, 1991), p. 49. “We have already seen that a four- to five-year period is not long enough to make systemic change at the local level.” McAdams, Richard P. (1997). “A Systems Approach to School Reform.” Phi Delta Kappan, 79(2)
Principal Tenure and School Vision in North Carolina(% tchrs agreeing/strongly agreeing that there is a common school vision)
Reason Two Principal turnover negatively affects teacher retention and teacher quality
Teacher Turnover in Texas After controlling for teacher and school characteristics, teachers in Texas were about 20% more likely to stay at the same school over a 5 year time span if the same principal remained at the same school.
Teacher Turnover in North Carolina After controlling for teacher and school characteristics, teachers in North Carolina were about 20% more likely to stay at the same school if the principal had been at the school for at least 2 years.
Teacher Turnover and Quality Impacts Student Achievement A growing body of research has found that teacher turnover has a negative effect on student achievement. Teacher quality is the strongest school factor affecting student achievement a) Teachers assigned in-field are more effective b) Novice teachers are less effective
Principal Turnover and Teacher Quality in Texas Independent effect of principal turnover on teacher quality:
Principal stability has an independent effect on student achievement • After controlling for student, teacher, and school characteristics,schools with the same principal over time had greater gains in student achievement than other schools in Texas.
Relationship Between Principal Stability and Elementary School Achievement Growth in Texas
Reason Three Principal stability and time are necessary to: • developing trust, • Developing respect, • and creating positive working conditions
Trust is Critical to School Reform and Teacher Retention A growing body of research has found that trust and respect: a) Facilitate school reform efforts b) Help improve student achievement c) Improve school climates d) Increase teacher retention
Trust and Respect Matter Teachers who perceive that there is an atmosphere of trust and respect in their school are at least50%more likely to stay at the same school than other teachers. Center for Teaching Quality research on teacher working conditions
Teacher Working Conditions Matter Research by the Center for Teaching Quality across 6 states and two large metro areas has found that positiveteacher working conditions substantially improve teacher retention and are associated with improved student achievement.
Teachers were asked to identify factors that influence their future intentions . . .
Percentage Stating Leadership was Very or Extremely Important in Influencing Future Decisions
Increased Likelihood of Staying in the Same School for Teachers Agreeing with the Following Statements X = was not included in survey; nss=not statistically significant
Differences in the Changes in Working Conditions Between Schools Using Working Conditions Data and Schools Not Using Working Conditions Data
Impact of Using Working Conditions Data Increases retention: In a West site, an 8% pt difference in retention In an East site, a 4% pt difference in retention Improves achievement: Schools in which at least 25% of elementary teachers used the TWC data for school improvement purposes had slightly greater gains in achievement Saves money: The West site would save $16 million The East site would save $36 million
Conclusions Principal Stability Matters! Previous research has shown that principals are critical to the reform process and overall school quality. Principal stability impacts teacher retention, teacher quality, school culture/working conditions, and student achievement Leadership behaviors can improve teacher working conditions, improve teacher retention, and improve student achievement.
High principal turnover in many schools—especially low-performing schools—has implications for all levels of the education system. 1) Leadership preparation programs should ensure that they effectively prepare graduates to be successful in different settings. 2) District administrators and school boards should pay greater attention to the recruitment and selection of high-quality principals. 3) School districts should ensure that principals have the necessary support and autonomy, coupled with appropriate accountability, to be successful. 4) District administrators and school boards should be patient with school reform and school leaders. 5) School districts must improve their capacity to properly recruit, support, and retain teachers and principals at high-need schools.
Contact Information:Ed Fuller(512) email@example.com
3. Principal turnover negatively affects teacher quality Schools with more than one change in principals had an increase of 1.5 percentage points at the elementary level and 2.3 percentage points at the high school level in the percent of novice teachers. The average change was a 2.1 percentage point decrease at the elementary level and 0.5 percentage point increase at the high school level. The effect was about the same as increasing the percentage of poor students by 20% percentage points.
Conclusions Principal turnover is extraordinarily high and greater than teacher turnover rates. Rates are greater in schools serving poor/minority students and low-performing schools.
Leadership Matters Teachers who perceive that their principals treat teachers as educational professionals are at least 50% more likely to stay at the same school than other teachers.
3. Principal turnover negatively affects teacher quality Schools with more than one change in principals had a decrease of 1.5 percentage points at the elementary level and 2.5 percentage points at the high school level in the percent of teachers assigned in-field. The average change was 2.5 percentage point gain at the elementary level and 2.1 percentage points at the high school level. The effect was about the same as increasing the percentage of poor students by 20% percentage points.
3. “To develop a cohesive team with a commitment to a common mission requires a level of trust and mutual respect that is one of the fruits of longer-term professional relationships.” McAdams, Richard P. (1997). “A Systems Approach to School Reform.” Phi Delta Kappan, 79(2)