Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Exploring the Predictive Relationship between Perceived Caring by School Principals and Teacher Absenteeism and Retention
George O. Cunningham, Ed.D; Linda D. Grooms, Ph.D.

Effective school leadership has been ranked the greatest indicator in the hiring and retaining of highly qualified teachers. Considering that the classroom teacher has the highest impact on student academic success, issues such as teacher absenteeism and turnover not only absorb a great deal of principal time and resources, but ultimately encumber the student learning environment. These issues are further exacerbated in urban school divisions, as students often present with higher needs for support socially, emotionally, and academically. Employing the Caring School Leadership Questionnaire, data were gathered from 293 PreK-12 teachers in two urban school divisions located in the southeastern United States. While the results did not reveal a statistically significant prediction of caring school principals on teacher absenteeism, they did indicate that teacher retention could be predicted. The data further suggested the need for reconceptualizing the role of the principal as not only the chief instructional leader, but equally important, the chief moral leader.

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