All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Loucrecia Collins

Advisory Committee Members

Dave Dagley

Tondra Loder-Jackson

Boyd Rogan

Deborah Voltz

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Education (EdD) School of Education


This qualitative grounded theory study explored how principals' retain teachers in urban schools. The retention of teachers in urban school is a critical part of the process to improve academic achievement. Only minimal research appears to be directed toward the principal's role in recruiting, training, or supporting urban teachers. Principals under-stand retaining a stable teaching staff is vital to student achievement. Urban schools are plagued with challenges that make the retention of highly qualified effective teachers a major concern. As urban school districts seek to retain its best teachers the achievement gap for the students attending these schools continues to widen. This study probes the professional perspective of urban secondary school principals who have managed to ex-perience success in the retention of the most valuable commodity, highly effective teach-ers. Focusing solely on the perception of urban principals the researcher conducted a grounded theory study to formulate a model that may assist other principals, school dis-tricts, and central office personnel with establishing programs to retain teachers. Exten-sive insight was gained from years of professional experiences, through trial and error, and the use of a wide array of leadership styles and strategies. This study reveals the hard facts of urban school environments while pressing to eliminate the status quo of student achievement and closing various achievement gaps. Exploring the perceptions and expe-riences of 20 veteran urban school principals provides a clear view of the necessary ele-ments needed to retain teachers in the urban school environment.

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