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Medium 9781475811681

Teacher Retention Issues: How Some Principals Are Supporting and Keeping New Teachers

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

KATHLEEN M. BROWN
SUSAN R. WYNN

ABSTRACT: Beginning teachers continue to exit the classroom in alarming numbers, despite numerous recruitment and retention strategies. High teacher turnover rates result in a deficit of quality teachers and instruction; a loss of continuity and commitment; and time, attention, and funds devoted to recruitment versus support. The purpose of this empirical inquiry of teacher retention issues is to better understand the leadership styles of principals who lead schools that have low attrition and transfer rates. Through the use of semistructured interviews with 12 principals, as well as focus group interviews with 4 to 6 new teachers (i.e., teachers with 1 to 3 years of experience) at each of the 12 schools (n = 61), data were triangulated, and some common characteristics and successful strategies that principals use to support and retain teachers were identified and analyzed through the lens of professional learning communities. Findings indicate that the following principals are retaining teachers at a rate higher than that of their peers: principals with a keen awareness of issues affecting new teachers; principals with a proactive versus reactive approach in supporting new teachers; and principals with a commitment to professional growth and excellence for themselves, their students, and their teachers (new and veteran alike).

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Medium 9781475819441

Actively Seeking Change: Mathematics Lesson Study for the Diverse U.S. Schools

Teacher Education and Practice Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

VESSELA ILIEVA

ABSTRACT: This qualitative study examined the experiences of three eighth-grade prealgebra teachers as they planned student sensitive lessons for their ethnoculturally diverse students. The teachers worked in a lesson study group with a diversity consultant, an ESL (English as a second language) teacher who had a variety of multicultural experiences from around the globe. The findings of the study indicated that this form of student-sensitive lesson study stimulated in-depth mathematical discussions among participants and prompted a reevaluation of the teachers’ mathematical knowledge and practice. The diversity consultant supported the mathematics teachers in understanding their role in communicating mathematical content in ways relevant to their ethnoculturally diverse students. The role of lesson activity context to students’ understanding and engagement and the need for closer attention to students’ academic English-language proficiency when planning instruction surfaced as important elements for planning student-sensitive mathematics lessons.

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Medium 9781475823981

Notes From the Editor

Journal of School Public Relations Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

THEODORE J. KOWALSKI

Iam pleased to announce that Dr. Arthur Stellar is now the book review editor for this journal. He has expansive knowledge of education, understands how to communicate in this field, and has authored many book reviews (including several in this issue). Dr. Stellar most recently served as superintendent of the Burke County Public Schools in North Carolina, which has been named one of the five “most productive” districts in the state by the Center for American Progress. He previously served as a superintendent in Massachusetts, New York, Georgia, Oklahoma, and West Virginia, as well as in other professional positions in Ohio and Maryland. He also served as chief education officer and vice president for Renaissance Learning and president and CEO of High/Scope Educational Research Foundation. Readers who are interested in submitting book reviews are encouraged to contact him via e-mail: artstellar@yahoo.com.

In addition to book reviews, this issue includes three articles. The first is authored by Drs. Linda Anast-May, Mark Mitchell (both from Coastal Carolina University), Barbara Chesler Buckner (Columbus State University), and Cindy Elsberry (superintendent of the Horry County Schools in South Carolina). Their research focuses on the role of school principals as marketing managers, and the findings were derived from data collected from 60 principals.

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Medium 9781475817188

The Relationship Between Teacher Job Satisfaction and Principal Leadership Style

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

H. WILLIAM HELLER1

REX CLAY2

CLINE PERKINS3

ABSTRACT: This study made use of Hersey and Blanchard’s concept of situational leadership to investigate the relationship between teacher job satisfaction and the leadership behaviors of “telling,” “selling,” “participating,” and “delegating.” Questionnaires were mailed to a sample of 520 teachers, stratified by gender and school type. Three hundred and thirty-nine usable responses were returned (65 percent) and analyzed by correlation and analysis of variance procedures.

About 42 percent of the respondents were either “very dissatisfied” or “dissatisfied.” Teachers were least satisfied with the financial aspects of teaching and most satisfied with their co-workers. There were no differences in satisfaction by teacher gender, principal gender, experience, or school type.

Additionally, job satisfaction was not significantly related to leadership style. Suggestions for further research speak to the need to take into account the “consideration” aspect of leadership style and to measure job satisfaction in specific task areas such as curriculum development, faculty evaluation, staff development, and instructional organization.

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Medium 9781475817164

The High School Dropout: Antecedents and Alternatives

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

BEATRICE BALDWIN1,*

M. RANDY MOFFETT1

KEN LANE2

ABSTRACT: Administrators recognize that students dropping out of school is one of the most difficult challenges to our public school system. Today’s school administrators can begin to deal with this crisis by becoming familiar with the characteristics of dropouts and the reasons for dropping out. This paper outlines what school administrators can do to increase their understanding of local dropout problems and to decrease dropping out. The suggestions include analyzing local data, instituting early tracking of potential at-risk students, creating alternative programs, reorganizing to improve school climate, and initiating new forms of student assessment.

The public education system of the United States continues to maintain the traditional mission of shaping students’ academic and social development. Our system operates under the assumption of equal educational opportunity for all persons; no other system in the world attempts to educate all youth with essentially one pathway as does the American system. Yet, this basic premise that Americans value so highly may also contribute significantly to the unsuccessful performance of a large portion of our nation’s youth. The high school dropout is American education’s most serious dilemma and presents one of the most difficult challenges to our public school system.

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