Stay or Go? Turnover in CMO, EMO and Regular Charter Schools

Publication Date


Document Type



Background: We examine whether working conditions in different types of charter schools lead to different levels of teacher turnover. We consider two types of teacher turnover behaviors. One is teacher migration, which refers to the transfer of teachers from one school to another. The other one is teacher attrition, which describes the phenomenon of teachers leaving the profession entirely. We distinguish among charter schools managed by for-profit education management organizations (EMOs), those managed by non-profit charter management organizations (CMOs), and regular charter schools.

Method/analysis: Our data come from the 2011–12 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS). We estimate multi-level models with hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) software.

Findings and implications: We find that teachers in charter schools managed by EMOs and CMOs have higher levels of migration and attrition intention than do teachers in regular charter schools. Teachers, particularly in EMO-managed charter schools, are more likely to consider moving to another school or to leave the teaching profession. Our analyses suggest that the increased migration and attrition among teachers in MO-managed charter schools can be partially explained by the differences in working conditions, such as the degree of administrative support in the school, the degrees of classroom control and school-wide influence of teachers, salary, opportunities of professional development, the quality of the student body, and the degree of student misbehavior.

Original Citation

Roch, C.H. & Sai, N. (2018). Stay or Go? Turnover in CMO, EMO and Regular Charter Schools. Social Science Journal, published online March 13, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soscij.2018.02.016