Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Cheryl Magill


Since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2001, public school systems have been engaged in a system of educational reform fueled by a level of accountability that includes not only the performance of the students, but also the performance of the teachers and the administrators. Recent studies have found that student achievement has been negatively impacted by teacher absenteeism; however, there have been scant studies conducted in the United States regarding teacher absence behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine the teacher absence data of a school division in central Virginia in order to determine teacher absence behaviors. This study focused on two specific research questions: What is the frequency of teacher absence? What are the predictors of teacher absence? The design of this quantitative study was secondary data analysis. The data set included absence data for 1,198 classroom teachers who were continuously employed for the 2005-06, 2006-07, and 2007-08 school years. Data analysis included running descriptive statistics in order to determine the frequency of teacher absence, and by performing bivariate and multivariate analyses to determine the predictors of teacher absence. The dependent variable was the total number of absences taken, and the independent variables included demographic information, days of absence, teaching assignments, and types of leave. Analysis of the data found that absences occurred most frequently on Fridays and that sick leave accounted for most of the absences. There is evidence that teachers use leave to extend weekend or holiday leisure time. The use of leave under the Family Medical Leave Act rose from .1 percent to 1 percent of the total leave days over the course of the study. The total number of absences increased by almost 4 percent after the introduction of an electronic absence reporting system. Women are more likely to be absent than are men. Teachers at the specialty schools had the highest rates of absenteeism, and high school teachers had the lowest absence rates. As age advanced, teachers were less likely to be absent, but as years of experience advanced, teachers were more likely to be absent.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2010


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