Teacher Absences in the Commonwealth of Virginia: An Analysis of Patterns and Predictors and Implications for Policy
Eagle, Donna Lambert
MetadataShow full item record
The research regarding the effect of policy on teacher absenteeism is scarce and research examining teacher absenteeism from a state perspective is very limited. This mixed methods study analyzed selected school variables for public schools and districts in Virginia contained in the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) and in the National Center for Educational Statistics. In addition, a content analysis was performed on leave policies for all 132 school districts in Virginia yielding policy variables for the study. The purpose of the study was to determine the relationship of school and policy characteristics to teacher absences. The analysis for this study involved computing descriptive statistics, correlating continuous variables, and running multiple regressions for each dataset (school and district for each year) to determine the predictors of the dependent variable, chronically absent teachers, defined as the percentage of teachers absent for more than 10 days. Although the school models were significant, neither was a particularly strong predictor of chronically absent teachers, only accounting for 15.2 percent variation (2011-2012 model with R2=.152) and 9.6 percent variation (2013-2014 model with R2=.096) that is predicted by the independent variables. Nevertheless, there were independent policy and school variables that were significant predictors in both school years. The most prominent variables included: total leave, personal leave maximums, income protection provisions (sick leave banks, short-term disability), free and reduced lunch population percentage of a school, pupil/teacher ratio of the school, and the grade level of the school (elementary, middle, and high).
- Doctoral Dissertations