Each year, large numbers of teachers must be recruited to fill vacancies left by departing teachers. Some amount of attrition is natural and results in teachers finding schools that are a better fit for their perspectives and approaches in the classroom. Unfortunately though, some schools find it difficult to retain even their most highly committed and well-trained teachers. High levels of attrition constitute a major challenge to educational improvement efforts, seriously reducing the school's instructional capacity.

For this reason, sociologists and other educational researchers have sought to identify the determinants of teacher attrition, focusing especially on those schools with chronic staffing problems. Chronic staffing problems can often be traced to the social context of schools and a lack of organizational support for teachers' work. Although teachers ...

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