Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Autonomy, working conditions, and teacher satisfaction: Does the public charter school bargain make a difference?
by Skinner, Rebecca R., Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2008, 315; 3315891
Abstract (Summary)

This study examined whether public charter school teachers were more satisfied with their jobs than traditional public school teachers and whether differences in satisfaction were related to higher levels of autonomy perceived by public charter school teachers. It began by considering whether the enhanced autonomy provided, in theory, by the charter school bargain was being realized at the school level by comparing public charter school principals' and teachers' perceptions of autonomy with those of their traditional public school counterparts. Consideration was also given to teachers' perceptions of working conditions and job satisfaction and whether these perceptions differed between public charter and traditional public school teachers. Finally, the study examined whether perceptions of autonomy and working conditions were related to teacher job satisfaction, accounting for endogeneity bias.

The analysis used data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2003-2004 Schools and Staffing Survey. Several statistical techniques were used to address the study's research questions, including factor analysis, ordinary least-squares regression, logistic regression, and two-stage least-squares regression with instrumental variable analysis.

The findings showed that a higher percentage of public charter school principals than traditional public school principals perceived having a major level of schoolwide influence in several areas. Similarly, a higher percentage of public charter school teachers than traditional public school teachers perceived having high levels of schoolwide influence, but fewer differences were found with respect to teachers' perceptions of classroom control. Both groups of teachers tended to rate their working conditions positively, although a higher percentage of public charter school teachers reported more favorable perceptions related to parent involvement. With respect to teacher job satisfaction, a higher percentage of public charter school teachers than traditional public school teachers indicated having slightly higher levels of satisfaction on several of the variables examined, but only a marginally significant difference was found regarding teachers' overall satisfaction.

After accounting for endogeneity bias, whether a teacher worked in a public charter school was not found to be statistically significantly related to any of the teacher satisfaction variables. Teacher job satisfaction, however, was positively related to teachers' perceptions of schoolwide influence, classroom control, and several working conditions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rotberg, Iris C.
Commitee: Nakib, Yas, Scott, Leslie A.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Educational Administration and Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 69/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School administration, Elementary education, Secondary education
Keywords: Autonomy, Charter school, Public charter schools, Schools and Staffing Survey, Teacher job satisfaction, Teacher satisfaction, Working conditions
Publication Number: 3315891
ISBN: 9780549675105
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