How does teacher qualifications impact student achievement in relation to the achievement model established by the Mississippi State Department of Education?
The following study was conducted in a six-county geographical region and involved teachers from various high schools that taught classes which were involved in the subject area testing program. Each participant taught one of the four state-mandated subject area classes that are tested to determine achievement levels and accreditation ratings for each high school. The focus of the study was to collect information from each teacher regarding the qualifications they held during the 2009-2010 school year and to compare those qualifications with the mean scale score for each teacher's subject area classes. The researcher focused on five separate teacher qualifications that were National Board Certification, years of experience, alternate route certification, level of degree and hours in content area. Twenty tests were conducted to test each qualification against the mean scale score from each subject area. Two of the test conducted produced statistically significant results. Teachers who held a National Board Certificate proved to have a statistically significant impact on test scores in English II with t(48) = 3.319, p = .002. Teachers who completed more that eighteen hours in mathematics also produced statistically significant results in Algebra I classes with t(47) = -2.349, p = .023. These two outcomes provide a solid foundation and support basis that school administrators can use to implement practices in teacher induction and teacher recruitment programs. A statistically significant impact on student achievement occurred in only 10% of the test during this project. Although a small percentage, the results provide educational leaders with a support basis that can be applied to current policy and practice. These results also leave the door open for future researchers to expand on the ideas explored during this project. Research topics and ideas that can easily be applied to classroom practices, foster educational growth and maximize the opportunity for student achievement.