The Determinants of Teacher Attrition in Upstate New York
Policy makers and scholars have long been interested in teacher attrition, particularly in poor, urban schools. We investigate the determinants of teacher attrition in five large metropolitan areas in upstate New York. We focus on a teacher's decision to leave a school district or to leave teaching using the Prentice-Gloeckler-Meyer technique for proportional hazards with unobserved heterogeneity. We find that teachers in districts with higher salaries relative to nonteaching salaries in the same county are less likely to leave teaching and that a teacher is less likely to change districts when he or she teaches in a district near the top of the teacher salary distribution in that county. We also find, however, that the impact of salary on the probability of leaving teaching is small and that very large salary increases would be required to offset the impact of concentrated student disadvantage on the attrition of female teachers.
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