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Race, poverty, and teacher mobility

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  • Scafidi, Benjamin
  • Sjoquist, David L.
  • Stinebrickner, Todd R.

Abstract

This paper provides new information about the interrelated issues of teacher turnover (both within and across school districts and inside and outside of teaching) and the importance of nonpecuniary school characteristics, such as race and poverty, using new administrative data on Georgia teachers and the elementary schools in which they teach. Simple descriptive statistics indicate that teachers are more likely to change schools if they begin their teaching careers in schools with lower student test scores, schools with lower income students, or schools that have higher proportions of minority students. A linear probability and a competing risks model of transitions out of first teaching jobs allow us to separate the importance of these highly correlated school characteristics. The estimates from the model imply that teachers are much more likely to exit schools with large proportions of minority students, and that the other univariate statistical relationships associated with student test scores and poverty rates are driven to a large extent by the correlations of these variables with the minority variable. Thus we find that, while the common notion that teachers are more likely to leave high poverty schools is correct, it occurs because teachers are more likely to leave a particular type of poor school - that which has a large proportion of minority students.
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Suggested Citation

  • Scafidi, Benjamin & Sjoquist, David L. & Stinebrickner, Todd R., 2007. "Race, poverty, and teacher mobility," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 145-159, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:26:y:2007:i:2:p:145-159
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, pages 417-458.
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    5. Theobald, Neil D. & Gritz, R. Mark, 1996. "The effects of school district spending priorities on the exit paths of beginning teachers leaving the district," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, pages 11-22.
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    7. Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Brewer, Dominic J., 1995. "Did teachers' verbal ability and race matter in the 1960s? Coleman revisited," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, pages 1-21.
    8. Ronald Ehrenberg & Dominic Brewer, 1993. "Did Teachers' Race and Verbal Ability Matter in the 1960's? Coleman Revisited," NBER Working Papers 4293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2002. "An Analysis of Occupational Change and Departure from the Labor Force: Evidence of the Reasons that Teachers Leave," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, pages 192-216.
    10. Mont, Daniel & Rees, Daniel I, 1996. "The Influence of Classroom Characteristics on High School Teacher Turnover," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(1), pages 152-167, January.
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    12. Theobald, Neil D., 1990. "An examination of the influence of personal, professional, and school district characteristics on public school teacher retention," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, pages 241-250.
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    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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