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Indicators of successful teacher recruitment and retention in Oklahoma rural school districts

Region:
Southwest
Description:
The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with successful recruitment and retention of teachers in Oklahoma rural school districts, in order to highlight potential strategies to address Oklahoma’s teaching shortage. The study was designed to identify teacher-level, district-level, and community characteristics in rural Oklahoma that predict which teachers are most likely to be successfully recruited (as defined in this study as having completed a probationary period of employment in a district for three years and obtained tenure status in their fourth year of teaching) and retained (as defined in this study as the duration of employment of tenured teachers in a given school district). For context, the study also explores patterns of teacher job mobility in Oklahoma in rural and nonrual schools. This correlational study covers a 10-year period, the 2005/06 to 2014/15 school years, and uses data from Oklahoma State Department of Education, Office of Educational Quality and Accountability, and community characteristics from data in federal noneducation sources. The study found that teachers who are male, those who have higher postsecondary degrees, and those who have more teaching experience are harder than others to recruit and retain in Oklahoma schools. Another key finding is that for teachers in rural schools, total compensation and increased responsibilities in job assignment (as measured by full-time equivalent and additional nonteaching assignments) are positively associated with successful recruitment and retention. The exploration of the patterns of teacher job mobility in Oklahoma showed that teachers at rural schools have a 70 percent chance of reaching their fourth year of teaching in the same district and, therefore, reaching tenure; this rate is slightly lower than the rates for teachers in nonrural areas. Also, rural school districts in Oklahoma had consistently lower rates of success in recruiting teachers than nonrural school districts from 2006/07 to 2011/12. In conclusion, the evidence provided by this study can be used to inform incentive schemes to help retain certain groups of teachers and increase retention rates overall. In addition, the results of this study could inform the design of more rigorous studies, such as impact evaluations, of such incentive schemes.
Publication Type:
Making Connections
Online Availability:
Publication Date:
October 2017
Contact: