Do Qualifications Imply Quality?: The Relationship between Highly Qualified Teachers and Student Achievement in Reading and Math in Elementary School
The thesis uses data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K) to investigate the relationship between the presence of highly qualified teachers , as defined by No Child Left Behind, in the classroom and student achievement in reading and mathematics throughout elementary school. The three qualifications that confer "highly qualified" status are possession of a bachelor's degree, full certification, and knowledge of the subject taught. The legislation mandated that all teachers meet this designation by the end of the 2005-06 academic year in the hope that it would improve academic outcomes of marginalized children, particularly poor and minority children. While prior research indicates the importance of teachers on student outcomes, there has been little that involves these particular qualifications combined. I ran 2 OLS regressions each for grades 1, 3, and 5. The dependent variables were math and reading assessment scores, while the variable of interest was an indicator variable for highly qualified teachers. The findings from this paper indicate that there is no statistically significant relationship between "highly qualified" teachers and the achievement of students in reading and math and suggest that the three qualifications that comprise a "highly qualified teacher" designation do not necessarily identify the traits of effective teachers.
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