Exploring the Phenomenon of Public School Principals in Texas Who Stay at a Title I School for Five or More Years
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Student achievement is positively correlated to effective principal leadership (Marzano et al., 2005). Data suggests school improvement efforts need three to five years to be fully implemented and for the impact to be realized (Beckett, 2018). The most recent principal turnover data in Texas indicates a turnover rate of 52.2% within a three-year period and 71.3% within a five-year period (Fuller, 2008). The turnover rate at Title I schools is higher than nonTitle I schools (Grissom & Bartanen, 2018). There is evidence and research around why principals leave (Baker et al., 2010; Battle & Gruber, 2010; Beckett, 2018), but little to no evidence surrounding those who stay five or more years.
This qualitative study explores the reasons or factors principals of Title I public schools in Texas continued to lead their schools for five or more years. In this phenomenological study, ten principals of schools grades five or higher were interviewed to understand the phenomenon of longevity in a role with a high turn-over rate in Texas and nationally. Data from these interviews were coded and analyzed. The findings were reported with conclusions drawn about the reasons discovered. This study hopes to provide public school district leadership a clearer understanding of why some leaders of schools designated as Title I persist for five or more years.