Date of Award

Spring 5-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Cherita Graber

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid

Abstract

Educational leaders and experts claim that teachers are the number one classroom factor in the educational success of students (Marzano, 2007; Wong, 2009). This study determined there was not a significant correlation between the two teacher characteristics of advanced degree completion and years of experience. These are two of the more quantifiable and highly regarded teacher characteristics in the profession. The typical teacher salary is a major component of education that places high value on these two characteristics. There are many other policies and legislation, such as the No Child Left Behind Act, teacher tenure, hiring practices, and staff reduction policies that place the focus primarily on experience, degree completion, or a combination of the two. Data for the study were requested from rural school superintendents and elementary principals. These data were degree level completion and experience for third and fifth grade teachers, as well as the class mean scores for the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) tests in communication arts and mathematics for those teachers. These numbers were analyzed using the Pearson r and multiple regression to determine whether the two teacher characteristics had a statistically significant effect on student scores. The study found no significant correlation between the two characteristics, advanced degree completion and years of experience, and the scores on the class standardized tests. These results question the effectiveness of using these two characteristics to distinguish teacher quality, and the high priority given to these characteristics.

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