Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Christie McMullen

Second Advisor

Dr. Cornwell


Abstract According to Sutcher et al. (2016), hundreds of thousands of teachers (eight percent of the overall United States teaching force) leave the profession annually for various reasons. These reasons include dissatisfaction with some parts of their jobs, including poor leadership, lack of control over teaching, family or personal reasons, pursuing a job outside of education, retirement, and financial reasons. The purpose of this study is to understand why teachers choose to stay at their school, why they leave certain schools and what school and district leaders can do to keep teachers in their classrooms. The context of this inquiry is three Title I middle schools and two Title I high schools. My study demonstrated a combination of quantitative and qualitative data that matched current research, teacher surveys, and interviews with school and district leaders on what to do to keep teachers in Title I schools. School leaders are responsible for creating a culture at their respective schools. Teachers want to work in a school environment where they feel appreciated, respected, and have a voice in the doings of the school. The surveys conducted in this study have shown overwhelmingly how important culture is to teachers. School and district leaders acknowledged the value of building community in their schools. District leaders should place school leaders with experience in building collaborative cultures to improve morale and, more importantly, increase teacher retention in their schools.