Recruitment, Retention, and Utilization of Adequately Prepared High School Mathematics Teachers in Florida’s Rural Districts

Shumard, Lorinda J. 
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Florida Southern College
This study investigates recruitment, retention, and utilization of adequately prepared high school mathematics teachers in Florida’s rural districts. The research is a result of public concern regarding low passing rates on End-of-Course exams in secondary mathematics classes. Fearing this problem might be the result of unprepared mathematics teachers, the study investigates methods for recruiting and retaining educators in rural areas with low socioeconomic student populations. Given the inconsistency in government regulation and low minimum criteria set by the state, identifying adequately prepared educators is a difficult task for administrators. This is notably arduous in critical shortage areas like mathematics and science, where successful educators must possess substantial content knowledge. This phenomenological study identifies methods of recruitment, retention, and utilization that can assist districts in filling mathematics classrooms with competent teachers by examining best practices of rural Florida high school principals whose schools have the highest achievement scores in mathematics and student bodies with a similar low socioeconomic status. Principal interviews identify methods for recruiting and retaining adequately prepared applicants for mathematics positions, strategies to deal with the effects of alternative certification on recruitment and retention, and strategies that maximize the instructional effectiveness of mathematics teachers who have diverse levels of certification. In addition to helpful methods and strategies for administrators, the qualitative study uncovers a desperate lack of applicants for mathematics teaching positions. As a result, the study includes implications for action and suggestions for policymakers with the hope of improving the quality and availability of exceptional mathematics educators in Florida’s rural districts.
Dissertation presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership in the School of Education at Florida Southern College by Lorinda J. Shumard.
Educational leadership, Mathematics education, Secondary education
Shumard, L. J. (2018). Recruitment, Retention, and Utilization of Adequately Prepared High School Mathematics Teachers in Florida’s Rural Districts (Order No. 27540036). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection. (2308668813).