Date of Award

Fall 12-21-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Jennifer Esposito Ph.D

Second Advisor

Janice Fournillier Ph.D

Third Advisor

Deron Boyles Ph.D

Fourth Advisor

Brian Williams Ph.D


There is a continuing low number of Black male teachers in the public school system nationally and they are often employed in urban, low-income, high minority areas where students are considered most “at risk” (Ingersoll, May, & Collins, 2017). Some have argued that Black male teachers’ presence is a benefit in numerous ways (Irvine, 1988; Bristol, 2015). When a Black male teacher leaves a low-income school, their attrition is arguably more harrowing considering that Black male students in these areas often have lower achievement scores, higher dropout rates, higher disciplinary referrals, and higher special education demarcation than other ethnic groups. For this study, ten Black male content teachers, who left urban, disadvantaged school districts to teach at a more advantaged, predominantly White school district (PWSD), were interviewed. The aim of the study was to discover, among other things, why they left these disadvantaged districts to teach in a more affluent county. This study was completed using Heuristic Inquiry, a methodology that includes the experiences of participants as well as the transformation of the researcher during the study as evidence. Findings suggest that Black male teachers left their previous positions because of issues with the structure and climate of their previous schools seeking reprieve in a more academically nurturing environment. Findings also suggest that Black male teachers seek employment in schools within PWSDs that have the most diversity. Participants desired to be in these more diverse schools because of their commitment to their communities, their own experiences in school, and the desire to use these experiences to help other young Black males. All participants wanted to amplify their impact on students and the school culture by moving out of the classroom into a more administrative role. This study adds to the literature that addresses the attrition and migration of the few Black male content teachers in this country.