Special Education Teacher Attrition in North Carolina: The Contributions of Internal and External Factors

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Title: Special Education Teacher Attrition in North Carolina: The Contributions of Internal and External Factors
Author: Williams, Jennifer Bautel
Advisors: Dr. Susan Osborne, Committee Chair
Dr. Michael Ward, Committee Member
Dr. Alan Reiman, Committee Member
Dr. Cathy Crossland, Committee Member
Abstract: Teacher attrition throughout schools in our county is a national problem reflecting significantly on the quality and stability of educational programs. Statistics have surfaced over the past few years describing the increased rate of teacher attrition in the field of education. To date, there has been some research on identifying the factors associated with teacher attrition in special education but more is needed. A limited number of studies contain large population samples, investigate the relationship between gender and attrition, or investigate external contributors of attrition such as salary, percentage of students in poverty, and the academic performance of students. In the meantime, State Education Agencies and Local Education Agencies implement retention policies based on inadequate data. This study provides a critical review of the literature related to teacher attrition in special education and research questions were investigated that address the internal and external factors related to teacher attrition in a southeastern state using a large three-year data set. The study identified the relationships between internal factors such as age, licensure status, degree held, salary, experience, ethnicity, and gender in regards to teacher attrition. Additionally, external factors such as local teacher salary supplement, academic achievement of students, and poverty level of students and the relationship to teacher attrition were examined. Data including special education teachers from the 2000-2001, 2001-2002, and 2002-2003 school years were obtained and quantitatively analyzed using the SAS statistical package to explore relationships between the various internal and external factors and the attrition of special education teachers. Findings are clearly presented, and the influences of internal and external factors are revealed. A discussion of the implications of these results and ideas for future research are presented.
Date: 2004-12-02
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Curriculum and Instruction
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/3600


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