A study of SATP scores and principals' perceptions for traditional and alternate routes to teacher certification

Eddie Eugene Moore

Abstract

This study explores the differences between traditional and alternate route certification by focusing on the achievement of students who have been instructed by teachers from each program. In addition, this study identifies the strengths and weaknesses of teachers from each certification route through surveys and interviews with principals in the sample. Previous studies on this subject have focused on elementary or middle schools, which limits the information available for the high school level. This study was directed toward high school teachers in core subject areas tested in Mississippi's accountability model. The purpose of this study was to connect student test scores to the teachers' certification routes and to identify strengths and weaknesses of each route through feedback from principals. The Mississippi Subject Area Test (MSAT) scores in Algebra I, Biology I, English II, and U. S. History were analyzed. The test results revealed no significant advantages or difference for either teacher certification route; however, the data collected from principals indicated a perceived advantage for traditional route teachers. This study distinguishes the differences between accumulated student test results and perceptions by principals. The results provide high school administrators with a resource to compare high school test scores of students instructed by traditional or alternate route teachers.