Education Policy Analytics Lab

Federal policy and the teacher labor market: Exploring the effects of NCLB on teacher turnover

Authors: Min Sun, Andrew Saultz, & Yincheng Ye

Abstract: This study applies labor market matching theories and public performance accountability concepts to examine the effects of NCLB school accountability on school staffing and teacher turnover behaviors. Drawing on four waves of data on nationally representative samples of schools and teachers from the Schools and Staffing Surveys and Teacher Follow-Up Surveys from 1993-95 to 2007-09, we found that NCLB increased the average rate of teachers transferring involuntarily to other schools due to school-initiated separations. But this policy had no significant impact on the likelihood that teachers would either transfer voluntarily between schools or leave the teaching profession altogether. Moreover, NCLB did not affect the average probability of disadvantaged schools separating from their teachers. Finally, NCLB school accountability reduced schools’ likelihood of separating from teachers who spent more time on school-related work, or on extensive participation in in-service training, or who agreed with the school leadership. NCLB also reduced the voluntary turnover of teachers who were satisfied with accountability influences on instruction and who were the same race as the majority of the students in their school. The findings suggest strategic behaviors of individuals and organizations when they engage with policy and management change.

Paper Presented at: Annual Meeting of American Education Research Association (AERA), Chicago, IL. April, 2015.

 Federal Policy and the Teacher Labor Market

APA Citation: Sun, M., Saultz, A., & Ye, Y. (2017). Federal policy and the teacher labor market: Exploring the effects of NCLB on teacher turnover. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 28(1), 102–122.