Teachers at Appalachian schools in Kentucky are remaining at their schools from year to year at rates similar to that of their counterparts outside that region of the state, according to a federally funded study.
Researchers from the Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia examined state-level data from 2008-2012 to determine how frequently teachers either returned to their classrooms, changed schools, or left the Kentucky public school system entirely from one year to the next.
Teachers were retained at a rate of 87.4 percent in Appalachian schools, and 84.8 percent in non-Appalachian schools, according to the study.
The report notes that this finding challenges conventional concerns about teacher retention in Appalachia, an area of great interest to policymakers seeking to improve student achievement in Kentucky.
Across the state, the study found, teachers were most likely to continue to teach in the same schools if they were: female; age 49 or younger; white and non-Hispanic; had a master’s degree or 15–19 years of experience; or were teaching in a rural elementary school where 42 percent or fewer of the students were from low-income families or more than 91 percent of students were white.
A version of this article appeared in the January 13, 2016 edition of Education Week as Workforce Stability