Retaining Science Teachers in Rural School Districts: Examining the Unintended Consequences of the No Child Left Behind Act

James R Harrington


Previous case studies find that rural school districts have been struggling to recruit and retain high quality teachers after the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Scholars and practitioners argue this labor market problem is even more dire in hard-to-recruit subject areas such as science and mathematics. While there is ample antidotal evidence, there is still no empirical studies that have leveraged a longitudinal dataset to estimate the impact of NCLB on teacher retention in rural school districts. To better examine the intended and unintended consequences of NCLB, this study leverages a longitudinal statewide panel dataset at the district level to examine the capability of rural school districts to recruit and retain science teachers. We find that rural school districts near metropolitan or micropolitan statistical areas employed fewer science teachers after the NCLB passage, while remote rural school districts did not experience a decline. This article highlights that rural school districts have differential effects on their ability to recruit and retain science teachers based on their proximity to urban areas.

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Global Journal of Educational Studies  ISSN 2377-3936


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