Impact of Human Resources’ Practices on Teacher Retention A Dissertation by: La’Shonte Nechelle Iwundu Submitted to the Graduate School of Prairie View A&M University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
The Education Commission (2005) states there are costs associated with high rates of teacher turnover both financially and in terms of creating a productive learning environment. Superintendents, administrators, and human resource personnel must be aware of the reasons that teachers are leaving the profession, if they want to alleviate the problem of teacher shortages and teacher attrition (Pellerin, 2007).
The Texas Center for Educational Research (2000) states the cost for high teacher turnover represents a loss of resources to the education system. Schools, experiencing high turnover rates regularly, have less time and money to spend on instructional improvement and curriculum development (NCTAF, 2002). Furthermore, student performance is negatively impacted by high teacher turnover rates (The Texas Center for Educational Research, 2000).
The significance of this study was centered on the importance of effective and ineffective practices used by human resource directors to retain teachers. The knowledge gained from this study may help educators to formulate effective retention practices, as well as add to the body of research to better define the role of the Human Resource Director.
Is there a correlation between the individual hygiene factors (supervision, salary, status, security, relationships, work conditions, company policy and personal life) and socioeconomic status of the school district?
Is there a correlation between the total hygiene factors and the socioeconomic status of the school district?
Ho1:There is no statistically significant relationship between the individual hygiene factors (supervision, salary, status, security, relationships, work conditions, company policy and personal life) and the socioeconomic status of the school district
Ho2:There is no statistically significant relationship between the total hygiene factors and socioeconomic status of the school district.
Literature Review HR Competency Model Provided by NAPA
According to Rebore (2007), people must be recruited, selected, placed, evaluated, and compensated whether by personnel in the central human resources office or administrators within the school district.
Further, Rebore (2007) writes that a human resource director (HRD) has a variety of roles, focusing on risk management, labor negotiations, compensation, benefit administration, employer-employee relations, staff training and maintaining central personnel records.
The four basic goals of human resource directors working in school districts consist of hiring, retaining, developing and motivating employees (Norton, 2008). Accomplishing these goals addresses the objectives of the school district while assisting staff members to cultivate skills useful in their content area; thus resulting in increasing student achievement (Rebore, 2007).
According to Norton (2008), one of the most important issues facing human resource administrators is teacher and administrator supply and demand and increasing diversity within the workforce. “Teacher shortages consistently rank high in surveys among serious challenges facing HR administrators” (Norton, 2008, p. 16).
The number one challenge for human resources for 2010 is talent retention and development (“Top 5 HR”, 2009).
The content validity, grammar, clarity, and understanding of the survey instrument were established in a previous study. The survey instrument was tested with superintendents to assess understandability. The survey was tested with a total of 597 superintendents from rural school districts. The responses of these 597 superintendents reflect the retention practices of rural areas not located near an urban area.
Retention items were assessed using a 6-point scale ranging from 1 “Not at all” to 6 “A great deal” and measured the extent to which specific challenges to retaining teachers are found and about the district’s dependence on retention strategies (e.g., instituting formal induction programs for new teachers, offering formal mentoring programs, providing best possible working conditions) (Hammer, Hughes, McClure, Reeves & Salgado, 2005).
A number of open-ended questions asked respondents to provide reasons why teachers who are newly hired tend to leave their positions within 1-2 years or stay in the district. School district information was assessed. This includes the type of locale, the number of schools in the district, the number of children served by the district, and the percentages of students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
A sample of current HRD(s) was targeted from school districts in the Texas Gulf Coast region. A total of 103 human resource directors were included in the sample. Participating districts were selected from the Region IV service area. The selection of the targeted population derived from the Texas Education Agency website. The data came from the 2007 to 2008 economically disadvantaged status reports.
The participants selected for the study were sent a personalized email introducing the project, describing the purpose of the study, providing instructions for completing the survey online (surveymonkey.com), assured confidentiality, and directing them to the site where the instrument could be completed. The researcher attempted to increase the response rate by a personalized telephone call. A follow-up email was sent exactly one week after the initial contact and additional follow-ups were sent after the second email.
Data analysis was conducted using Excel and Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) computer software. The analysis of data used Pearson’s correlation and descriptive statistics, which included measures of central tendency and standard deviations (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2003).
A Cronbach’s Alpha statistical analysis was conducted to establish reliability of the EDVANTIA: School Districts Recruitment and Retention Practices survey. The Cronbach’s Alpha of the factors (supervision, salary, status, security, relationships, work conditions, company policy and personal life) contributing to teacher turnover was .941.
To answer the first research question, respondents were instructed to rate each hygiene factor, on a scale from 1 to 6, he or she perceived as contributors to high teacher turnover. The researcher assessed the following factors, supervision, salary, status, security, relationships, work conditions, company policy and personal life by rating them based on their values as ranked by the respondents. Values are listed from highest to lowest.
TABLE 4.2 DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS OF HYGIENE FACTORS
To answer the second research question, respondents were instructed to rate, on a scale from 1 to 6, the extent to which the district relies on the provided practice or strategy to retain teachers. The provided retention practices included the following: induction programs, mentoring programs, teacher support, incentives, positive school culture, good work conditions, technology, community involvement, leadership development, increased salaries, improved benefits, tuition assistance, professional development opportunities and evaluation process regarding teacher retention.
TABLE 4.3 RETENTION PRACTICES USED BY DISTRICTS TO RETAIN TEACHERS
To test the first Null Hypothesis, a Pearson Correlation was conducted to identify whether a relationship exists between the individual hygiene factors and the socio economic status of the school district.
Based on these test results, no relationship existed between the individual hygiene factors and the socio economic status (SES) of the school districts. The null hypothesis was therefore not rejected, since the study found no significant correlation between hygiene factors and SES.
The findings from the data show that no significant relationship existed between the individual hygiene factors and the socioeconomic status of the school districts. Based on p < .05, the results of the relationship of each hygiene factor with the SES of the school district are as follows:
personal life is r = .338 (p = .172)
low salary is r = .310 (p = .182)
relationship with supervisor is r = .541 (p = .116)
To test the second Null Hypothesis, a Pearson Correlation was conducted to determine whether a relationship existed between the total hygiene factors and the socioeconomic status of the school districts.
The results of the relationship of total hygiene factors and the SES of the school districts is r = .074 where p = .315. Therefore, no relationship exists between the total hygiene factors and the SES of the school districts. The null hypothesis was therefore not rejected, since the study found no significant correlation between the total hygiene factors and SES of the school districts.
An open-ended question which asked respondents to list three reasons teachers, who are newly hired, remain in their positions for the first two years.
The findings indicate the most cited reason for teachers remaining in their positions as perceived by human resource directors was (a) was personal life at 34.4%, while the second most cited reason under option (a) was due to work conditions at 31%. For option (b) the most frequently cited reason was personal life at 41.3 % followed by work conditions at 37.9 %. Lastly, HRD’s indicated that personal life at 31% was the most cited reason under option (c) followed by work conditions at 17.2 %. The overall most cited reason for newly hired teachers to stay in their positions within 1-2 years of being hired was personal life.
An open-ended question which asked respondents to list three reasons why teachers, who are newly hired, tend to leave their positions within 1-2 years.
The results of this question found that the most cited reason for high teacher turnover as perceived by human resource directors for option (a) was personal life at 67.6 %, while the second most cited reason was low salary at 20.5 %. For option (b) the most cited reason was personal life at 70.5 % and the second most cited was salary and work conditions both at 8.8 %. Finally, HRDs indicated that personal life was the most cited reason under option (c) at 55.8 % followed by work conditions at 14.7 %.
After doing a comparison of the quantitative and qualitative data, the data revealed that factors related to “personal reasons” account for a greater percentage for teacher turnover in this study. Alliance for Excellent Education (2008) supports these findings which states the most-cited reason for teachers leaving the profession was “family-related”, rather than work conditions.
HRD’s were asked through an open ended questions format, to list reasons as to why newly hired teachers remained in their positions initially. The most cited reasons indicated by respondents were personal, and satisfaction with working conditions. HRD’s were also asked to report reasons that new teachers leave their positions within 1-2 years. The most cited reasons in this category of teachers were personal, low salary, and dissatisfaction with work conditions.
The results of this study also revealed that no significant relationship existed between the hygiene factors and the socio economic status (SES) of the school district.
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