Building a High-Quality Teacher Workforce

Stop Undermining the Teaching Profession: Indiana’s Students Deserve Better

 

What does the research say on the importance of teacher quality and its impact on student achievement?

  • “Quantitative analyses indicate that measures of teacher preparation and certification

are by far the strongest correlates of student achievement in reading and mathematics, both before and after controlling for student poverty and language status.” –Linda Darling-Hammond.[1]

  • State policies regarding teacher education, licensing, hiring and professional development make an important difference in the qualifications and capacities a teacher brings to the classroom.
  • Teacher quality is the single most important school-level factor for improving student learning according to prominent researcher Dan Goldhaber.[2]
  • Subject matter knowledge is a significant predictor of student performance. Measures of courses taken in subject content have a stronger relationship to student performance than scores on a subject content test (Adjunct permit requires only passage of a test).[3]
  • The amount of education coursework completed by teachers explained more than four times the variance in teacher performance than did measures of content knowledge (test scores and GPA in the major).[4]
  • Higher levels of student achievement are associated with mathematics teachers’ opportunities to participate in sustained professional development grounded in content-specific pedagogy linked to the new curriculum they are learning to teach.[5]
  • Teachers’ content-specific pedagogical knowledge is significantly positively associated with students’ mathematics achievement at all grade levels. One study shows that pedagogical knowledge is the strongest teacher-level predictor of student achievement.[6]
  • Studies have found that students achieve at higher levels and are less likely to drop out when they are taught by teachers with certification in their teaching field, by those with master’s degrees, and by those enrolled in graduate studies.[7]
  • Teacher experience has a significant impact on student learning. Teachers with fewer than 3 years of experience have smaller student achievement gains.[8]
  • Among students who become teachers, those enrolled in formal pre-service preparation programs are more likely to be effective than those who do not have such training.[9]
  • The performance of alternate route candidates was is much more uneven than that of trained teachers.[10]
  • Teachers who have had formal preparation have been found to be better able to use teaching strategies that respond to students’ needs and learning styles and that encourage higher order learning.[11]
  • The proportion of well-qualified teachers is by far the most important determinant of student achievement: it is highly significant for subject areas in all years and at all grade levels.[12]
  • Research indicates that the effects of well-prepared teachers on student achievement can be stronger than the influences of student background factors, such as poverty, language background, and minority status.[13]
  • Teachers with emergency certification negatively impact middle and high school student achievement.[14]


[1] Linda Darling Hammond (1999). Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy. “Teacher Quality and Student Achievement: A Review of State Policy Evidence.”

[2] Dan Goldhaber (2003) “Alternative Licensures: What We Know Now and What We Still Need to Learn.” American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

[3] J.R. Betts, A.C. Zau and L.A. Rice (2003) “Determinants of student achievement: New evidence from San Diego.” Public Policy Institute of California. Linda Darling Hammond (1999). Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy. “Teacher Quality and Student Achievement: A Review of State Policy Evidence.”

[4] P. Ashton and L. Crocker (1987) “Systematic study of planned variations: The essential focus of teacher education reform.” Journal of Education Research, 2-8.

[5] D.K. Cohen and H. Hill (1997) “Instructional Policy and Classroom Performance: The Mathematics Reform in California. American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Chicago Illinois.

[6] H.C. Hill, B. Rowan and D.L. Ball (2005) “Effects of teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching on student achievement.” American Educational Research Journal, 42 (2), 317-406. L. Goe (2007) “The link between teacher quality and student outcomes.” National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, Washington, D.C. Linda Darling Hammond (1999). Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy.

[7] Council on School Performance (1997) “Teachers with advanced degrees advance student learning.” Georgia State University.

[8] L. Goe (2007) “The link between teacher quality and student outcomes.” National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, Washington, D.C. Linda Darling Hammond (1999). Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy. “Teacher Quality and Student Achievement: A Review of State Policy Evidence.”

[9] C. Everston, W. Hawley and M. Zlotnik (1985) “Making a difference in educational quality through teacher education.” Journal of Teacher Education, 36 (3), 2-12.

[10] D.L. Gomez and R.P. Grobe (1990) “Three years of alternative certification in Dallas: Where are we?” American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.

[11] J.B. Hansen (1988) “The relationship of skills and classroom climate of trained and untrained teachers of gifted students. Purdue University. C.E. Skipper and R. Quantz (1987) “Changes in educational attitudes of education and arts and science students during four years of college.” Journal of Teacher Education, 39-44.

[12] Linda Darling Hammond (1999). Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy. “Teacher Quality and Student Achievement: A Review of State Policy Evidence.”

[13] Linda Darling Hammond (1999). Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy. “Teacher Quality and Student Achievement: A Review of State Policy Evidence.”

[14] L. Goe (2007) “The link between teacher quality and student outcomes.” National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, Washington, D.C. Linda Darling Hammond (1999). Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy.