To what extent do typologies of school leaders across the U.S. predict teacher attrition? A multilevel latent class analysis of principals and teachers




Urick, Angela M.

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Schools with high teacher turnover struggle to build capacity and increase student achievement. Leadership styles, such as shared instructional leadership found to have the largest effect on student achievement, may also help retain teachers. A long history of research has examined idealized, or effective, leadership styles and their relationship with attitudinal teacher retention variables, teacher satisfaction, commitment, intent to leave. Little is known about the ways in which leaders actually differ across the U.S. and their association with the actual event of teachers staying, moving schools, or leaving the profession. Using a nationally representative sample of teachers in U.S. schools from the 1999-2000 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), three sequential latent class analysis models are tested to better understand a) the types of teachers and principals in school leadership while controlling for context, b) the congruency among the perceptions of these types of teachers and principals, and c) the extent that these types help predict teacher attrition. The results of this study show that there are three different types of principals, Integrating, Controlling and Balkanizing, and four different types of teachers, Integrated, Transitioned, Balkanized and Limited, based on their perceptions of the principal and teacher leadership within their school. These principal and teacher types are predictors of teacher attrition. Integrated teachers were less likely to leave schools with Integrating principals.


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Leadership Styles, Multilevel Latent Class Analysis, Principal perceptions, Teacher perceptions, Teacher Retention, Types of Leaders



Educational Leadership and Policy Studies