Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Eric Glover

Committee Members

Pamela Scott. Virginia Foley, Cecil Blankenship


Much research has been conducted on what can be done to retain teachers in education. This study is an examination of what keeps teachers in high-poverty middle schools. The purpose of the study was to examine why teachers choose to stay in high poverty schools. According to Ed. Gov.(1999) high poverty schools are defined as schools that have 75% to 100% of students on free or reduced lunch.

Eight teachers were interviewed from 2 high poverty schools located in the southeastern region of the United States. These teachers had been employed by their school for at least 5 years. Data were gathered and analyzed to reveal why teachers stay in high poverty schools even though the work can be extremely difficult.

This study showed that the teachers interviewed feel working in a high poverty school can be more difficulty due to issues such as behavior and lack of parental involvement. However, rewards such as student growth and the love they develop for the students are worth the extra labor they put into their jobs. The good they find in their jobs seemed to outweigh the bad.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.