Curricular coaches’ impact on retention for early-career elementary teachers in the USA: Implications for urban schools

David De Jong, Ayana Campoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: Researchers have found that curricular coaches have had an impact on student achievement by supporting classroom teachers in providing high-quality instruction. However, few studies examine the association between curricular coaches and teacher retention, especially in urban areas. Given the high cost of teacher turnover and the high percentage of early-career teachers who leave the profession each year, the purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the presence of curricular coaches in elementary schools reduces turnover among early-career teachers. Design/methodology/approach: In this study, the authors analyzed the observational data from the 2007-2008 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS). The SASS is a nationally representative cross-sectional survey that has been administered repeatedly to public and private kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers in the USA approximately every four years by the National Center for Education Statistics and the US Census Bureau. Findings: The authors found that the presence of a curricular coach was associated with a substantial reduction in early-career teacher turnover. This finding suggests that curricular coaches could be a particular benefit to urban schools. Research limitations/implications: This study was national in scope; therefore, it does not examine causes of attrition specific to local contexts. Practical implications: Curricular coaches may indirectly save urban school districts thousands of dollars because of their impact on reducing early-career teacher attrition. Social implications: In this study, the authors found a statistically significant and practically meaningful association between the presence of curricular coaches in schools and the retention of elementary teachers, especially in urban areas. Originality/value: The model predicted that among early-career teachers, teachers in schools without curricular coaches are approximately twice as likely to leave the profession the next year compared to teachers in schools with curricular coaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-200
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 23 2018


  • Curricular coaching
  • Early-career teachers
  • Retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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