THE PRINCIPAL’S ROLE AND IMPACT ON TEACHER ATTRITION IN AN URBAN SCHOOL DISTRICT: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE VANDERBILT ASSESSMENT OF LEADERSHIP IN EDUCATION (VAL-ED) RATINGS AND TEACHER ATTRITION.
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The most significant factor that influences student achievement is the quality and commitment of the teachers who are providing rigorous instruction. As efforts to recruit more individuals into the teaching profession have been successful, determining how to keep highly qualified teachers who provide meaningful and effective instruction remains a concern. According to the U.S. Department of Education, teacher attrition is a local, state, and national problem. Principals play a key role in improving the quality of instruction in their schools through their daily instructional leadership behaviors. If teacher attrition across the United States is going to decrease, principals will be one of the key factors to making this a reality. Discovery Education recently developed the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (VAL-ED) tool, which holds the potential to improve academic and social learning for students as well as supporting the teachers who are providing high-quality education. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a correlation between learning-centered leadership behaviors (average score measured on the VAL-ED assessment) and the teacher attrition percentages that determine whether teachers remain in a school longer than 5 years. In addition, the researcher wanted to determine whether there was a correlation between the core components of culture of learning and professional behavior as well as connections to external communities and teacher attrition percentages in an urban school district which are both core components within the VAL-ED tool inclusive of the development of a positive school culture which supports teachers. Findings that emerged from the analysis revealed a moderately significant relationship between attrition percentages and overall scores on the VAL-ED assessment and the VAL-ED scores on the core component culture of learning and professional behavior. According to the study, higher overall effectiveness ratings on the VAL-ED tool had moderately significant associations with lower teacher turnover rates, and culture of learning and professional behavior VAL-ED scores had moderately significant associations with lower teacher turnover rates. Last, connections to external communities scores on VAL-ED had associations with lower teacher turnover rates, but the relationship was not significant.