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ERIC Number: ED549974
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 348
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-1302-7
High Stakes Testing in Lower-Performing High Schools: Mathematics Teachers' Perceptions of Burnout and Retention
Kirtley, Karmen
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Colorado at Denver
This dissertation grows from a concern that the current public school accountability model, designed ostensibly to increase achievement in lower-performing schools, may be creating unidentified negative consequences for teachers and students within those schools. This hermeneutical phenomenological study features the perceptions of seventeen ninth- and tenth-grade mathematics teachers working in four high schools within one lower-performing urban district. Two of the schools recently increased their overall accountability ratings, and two of the schools have been stagnant in their ratings, with the lowest-performing school scheduled to be phased out. The study's conceptual framework was created to understand how the current accountability legislation affects teachers, schools, and students either positively or negatively, depending on the school's overall ratings. The elements of the framework address the levels of and factors behind teachers' perceptions of their accountability pressure, threat-based stress, morale, self-efficacy, emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and overall levels of burnout. The framework also focuses on teachers' desires to continue teaching in their current schools or to stay in the profession altogether. Furthermore, the framework was designed to examine the four schools' levels of staffing shortages, influx of new teachers, and ability to gain ground academically. This study found the three most important factors affecting teachers' professional-emotional environments were quality and consistency of leadership, teachers' ability to have input and autonomy into situations for which they are held accountable, and having students held accountable for their standardize test scores. The most important factors affecting teachers' decisions to stay in their current positions or in the teaching profession altogether were making a difference in their students' lives, having supportive administration, creating strong, collegial relationships within their department, and feeling successful. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A