Page 59 - Volume 6 - Issue 1 - DBU Journal for K-12 Educational Leadership

Journal of K-12 Educational Research 57 POSITIVE BEHAVIOR INTERVENTIONS AND SUPPORTS: AN ANALYSIS OF THE PROGRAM’S IMPACT ON TEACHER RETENTION IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS Lauren E. Bolack, EdD Journal of K-12 Educational Research 2022 VOL. 6, ISSUE 1 Introduction Over the past three decades, teacher turnover in public school systems throughout the United States has been a significant concern (Ingersoll, 2001; Shaw & Newton, 2014). High rates of teacher turnover in the United States result in a decreased proportion of experienced teachers in the schools, and decreased school climate and culture, further adding to the concern of poor teacher and student performance (Shaw & Newton, 2014; Sorensen & Ladd, 2018; Sutcher et al., 2016). Regardless of how effective they may eventually become, novice teachers are on average much less effective at improving student performance (Ladd & Sorensen, 2017). According to research, it takes novice teachers three to seven years to become a highlyqualified teacher (Shaw & Newton, 2014). The teacher quality gap created by the constant influx of new staff within schools makes it difficult to close the student achievement gap. Assessing the causes for teacher retention at both the school and district level is essential for hiring and retaining highly qualified teachers to close the achievement gap among students. The purpose of the current study was to analyze and explore the connection between School-Wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (SWPBIS) and teacher retention in a large urban school district. While there are studies analyzing changes in teacher retention rates after the implementation of SWPBIS, there is limited research that incorporates an analysis of the fidelity with which the SWPBIS program was implemented in relation to discipline referral data and teacher retention data. The current study utilized discipline referral data, teacher retention data, and Benchmark of Quality (BoQ) data to determine if a relationship exists between SWPBIS implementation and teacher retention. Summary of Study The current study addressed three research questions. These research questions sought to identify whether a relationship exists between SWPBIS and teacher retention, which is an initial step towards establishing causation. Beginning in the early 1980s, a series of highly publicized reports resulted in an increase in national attention on teacher shortages (Ingersoll, 2001). As a result of the increasing body of research identifying challenging student behavior as a primary factor contributing to lower teacher retention rates, more school districts are turning to multi-tiered systems of support such as SWPBIS (Sugai & Horner, 2002). According to recent educational research, evidence reveals that the implementation of SWPBIS results in improvements in student behavior, school climate, academic achievement, and mental wellness for students and teachers (Childs et al., 2016; Hanover Research, 2013; National Education Association, 2014; Nocera et al., 2014; Ross et al., 2012; Simonsen et al., 2008). Data indicates that there is a need to improve teacher retention in the school district of the current study. Based on the research that suggests that SWPBIS improves student behavior, which is a significant factor leading to