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What Factors are Associated with Teacher Mobility within New Orleans?

A Research Snapshot by Olivia Carr examines which teacher and school characteristics are associated with teachers switching schools in New Orleans.

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What Factors are Associated with Teacher Mobility within New Orleans?

Published
by Olivia Carr

This descriptive study from Tulane University’s Olivia Carr examines what teacher and school characteristics are associated with teacher mobility within New Orleans publicly funded schools from 2016 to 2019.

One teacher characteristic predicted teacher mobility, and several school characteristics did:

  • Newer teachers are more likely to switch schools than more experienced teachers.
  • Teachers are more likely to switch schools if their principal is also leaving.
  • Teachers at schools with lower School Performance Scores (SPS) are more likely to switch schools than those at higher SPS schools.
  • Teachers at schools located in lower income neighborhoods are more likely to switch schools than those at schools in higher income neighborhoods.
  • Teachers do not appear to switch schools due to low salaries or low per pupil spending.

This study’s findings generally align with existing research in other districts, with one exception. The racial makeup of a school’s student body does not appear to affect teachers’ likelihood of moving schools in New Orleans, while studies in other locations have found that teachers in schools with a higher proportion of students of color are more likely to switch schools.

While it can be useful for individual teachers to move and find school environments that fit their skills and needs, high rates of teacher mobility can have negative effects on teacher collaboration, school culture, and student outcomes. These results can be used to target interventions designed to improve teacher retention within schools.

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