The effect of teacher retention on student achievement in third grade reading/langauge arts

Kathy Bang Sellers

Abstract

The United States government has placed emphasis on the placement of highly qualified teachers within each classroom through the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. This becomes more difficult when teachers become frustrated for various reasons and leave the profession of teaching before gaining the necessary experience to positively impact student achievement. The purpose of the study was to examine the possible relationship between teacher retention, teachers staying within the teaching profession, and the effect it has on student achievement. The study is based on individual teachers' class summary reports from the 2007-2008, 2008-2009, and 2009-2010 Mississippi Criterion Referenced Test (MCT2) and the numbers of years each of those teachers have taught. The study looked at beginning teachers (0-3 years of experience) versus more experienced teachers (4-12 years of experience) versus veteran teachers (> 12 years of experience) beginning with the 2007-2008 school year. Data from each of the same teachers were gathered and analyzed for the 2008-2009 and the 2009-2010 MCT2 scores reports to determine if teachers' mean scale score for reading/language arts are improving over time as they remain in education. The study looked at the possible relationship between a beginning teacher's success in remaining in education and three variables, teacher experience, if a mentor teacher was provided, and the age of the beginning teacher when entering education. Data analysis showed student achievement was not significantly affected by teachers who remain in education, as measured by the MCT2 teacher class summary reports. This study found a significant a relationship between the socioeconomic status (SES) of the school and student achievement. The researcher did discover ancillary findings that can prompt future studies to improve teacher performance and overall student achievement while assisting administrators to look deeper into the data to determine what factors will contribute to increased student achievement.