Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Urban Education


Nicholas Michelli

Subject Categories

Science and Mathematics Education


Schools and Staffing Survey, Applied Theory Building, Mathematics Education, Policy in Mathematics Education


Using data from the 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Survey, Restricted File Version, this study examines the factors that place African American teachers of mathematics at risk for turnover using Lynham’s General Model of Applied Theory Building methodology. Univariate statistical analysis found that of the three million plus public school teachers in the United States during the 2011-12 school year, 161,360 were certified math teachers were teaching mathematics full time and 11,070 of these teachers were African American. By centering this empirical study of turnover on the African American math teacher, this dissertation highlights turnover factors that uniquely impact African American math teachers and generates a theoretical tool, Critical Racial Sociopolitical Mathematics, that can be used to disrupt inequities in mathematics education and education as a whole. This study uses three dependent variables and forty independent variables to build a profile of African American math teachers as well as predict the likelihood an African American math teacher will intend to turnover. The variables were categorizing into three ‘Turnover Sets’ and examined in twenty-three logistic regressions using Stata v.13 software. This study found eleven of the forty variables to be statistically significant for either of the three dependent variables with the larger number of factors belonging to the ‘Turnover Set - Demographics’ for the dependent variable being an African American math teacher. Other key findings from this study include but are not limited to, the documentation of the perceptions African American math teachers hold regarding their professional experiences as well as new knowledge that approximately 50% of African American math male teachers and 40% of African American math female teachers entered teaching through an alternative certification program, the discovery of large income disparities between African American female math teachers and math teachers of other races, the lack of African math teachers teaching higher level mathematics courses and the low percentage of African American math teachers across the country. As a result, this study makes five policy recommendations which include varying sampling techniques for Teacher Follow-Up Survey for Current Teachers and the Teacher Follow-Up Survey for Former Teachers, holding school districts responsible for identifying and repairing school infrastructure, the expansion of alternative certification programs and the call for an increase population of African American math teachers.