Who Stays and Why? Principal Retention in a Large Urban School District: Analysis and Implications



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In this mixed methods study, reasons why principals choose to remain employed with a large urban school district were examined. The district faced challenges with recruiting, hiring, and retaining principals. As such, the purpose of this study was to examine and extract meaningful insights about the personal and organizational reasons that influenced principal retention. Principals who experienced five years of uninterrupted service in the same school were surveyed. Principals who stayed were older, had more years of service as educators, and had more tenure in the organization. The results indicated committed relationships with other people, seeing their work as a calling, and job satisfaction were the primary reasons for remaining on the job. Michaels, Handfield-Jones, and Axelrod (2001) reported the war for talent will intensify in all fields. Suggested in the research were questions about job security, principal pay, and commitment provide opportunities for additional research on the organizational and personal reasons that impact principals' success.



Retention, Principals, Urban, Turnover, Organizational structure, Perception