Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Creed, Benjamin M.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations (LEPF)


This research aimed to look specifically at traditional public and charter schools in Illinois to examine the impact of their policies and practices on educator turnover. The study elevated the voices of teachers who voluntarily left their schools due to various factors. It is incumbent upon them to review the data regarding their attrition rates and what teachers report about the structures and practices that push them to another school, district, or from the teaching profession altogether. The audiences that will benefit from this work are educational leaders and human resource teams as they create protocols for district support and retention.

This empirical study: (a) uses prior research to understand patterns and trends regarding teacher turnover in urban school; (b) examines current data, trends, and turnover patterns in traditional public schools and charter schools in urban schools in Illinois; (c) speaks directly to urban teachers who worked full time in their schools and left voluntarily to learn about factors that led them to leave or change schools; (d) adds to the current research by providing a tool for district leaders, school administrators, and school HR professionals to help them examine the structures, policies, and practices they may have in place that contribute to teacher turnover.

Three major themes regarding the key reasons teachers exit school emerged from this study: school politics, ineffective leadership, and salary. This research will prompt school teams to examine and reflect upon their current policies, practices, and protocols to retain teachers and eliminate structures that contribute to unwanted turnover. Once teams understand the experiences and needs of teachers, they can work to eliminate ineffective practices, overhaul structures that increase turnover, and create practices that will leverage their resources to improve teacher retention and attrition rates.


114 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type