The effect of school neighborhoods on teacher retention decisions

Authors
Donald Boyd,
Hamilton Lankford,
Susanna Loeb,
Matthew Ronfeldt,
James Wyckoff
Year of publication
2011
Publication
Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children's Life Chances
Publisher
New York: Russell Sage Foundation Press
Editors
In G. Duncan & R. Murnane (Eds.)
Pages
377-396
A substantial body of research demonstrates that schools with large populations of poor, non-white and low-achieving students, on average have more difficulty attracting and retaining teachers (Boyd et. al., 2005; Boyd et al, 2009; Hanushek et. al., 2004; Ingersoll, 2001; Scafidi et. al., 2007). However, little work assesses the extent to which differences in the neighborhoods in which schools are located either affect teacher recruitment and retention or explain the observed relationship between school characteristics and teachers' career choices. This paper uses newly compiled data on the neighborhoods of all schools in New York City, linked to a unique dataset on teachers' applications to transfer, in order to assess the effects of neighborhoods on teachers' career decisions. The analyses show that while school characteristics are more salient than neighborhood characteristics, neighborhoods do affect teachers' choices. In particular, the income of neighborhood residents and the amenities available near the school both affect teachers' decisions of where to teach, particularly in urban areas with high population-density.

Suggested Citation:

Boyd, D., Lankford, H., Loeb, S., Ronfeldt, M., & Wyckoff, J. (2011). The effect of school neighborhoods on teacher retention decisions. In G. Duncan & R. Murnane (Eds.). Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children's Life Chances. New York: Russell Sage Foundation Press, 377-396