Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Erin Lehmann


Teacher retention has been a challenge for most schools for several years. High-needs schools have been known to have twice the trouble with teacher retention as schools not considered high-needs. The purpose of this study was to identify effective practices school principals can implement to retain teachers at high-needs, urban secondary schools. This quantitative study called on teachers from high-needs schools in Iowa to complete a survey identifying principal qualities related to retention, perceived reasons for teacher attrition, and reasons they continue to teach at their current school. Three hundred eighty-five teachers from five different Iowa school districts participated in the study. The findings of the study suggest teacher attrition and retention revolves around three main elements—Leader Member Exchange (LMX), teacher allocations, and school climate.

Subject Categories

Educational Leadership


high-needs schools, LMX, pandemic, secondary, teacher retention, urban

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota



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