The Effect of Highly Qualified Teachers On High-School Standardized Tests
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1. Background of the Study
The Federal Government of the United States is trying its best to provide a very effective educational system. Part of the improvement is to provide education with highly qualified teachers. The highly qualified teachers’ requirement is part of the No Child Left Behind.
The Public Law 107-110, more commonly known as the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT of 2001 (NCLB) is the America’s federal law which reauthorizes different federal programs with objectives of improving performance of USA’s primary and secondary school through increasing standards of accountability for states, school districts and schools (Marsh & Robyn, 2003). It also gives parent the opportunity to be more flexible in selecting which schools their children will enroll. Furthermore, the provision also allows an increased attention on reading and re-authorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) (Stecher, Hamilton & Gonzales, 2003). In order to meet such aim, the government included in the act the context of hiring highly qualified teachers.
NCLB notes that in order to ensure effectiveness of teaching, highly qualified teachers must be considered (Mathis, 2003). As mentioned above highly qualified teachers must demonstrate expertise on the subject matter. Accordingly, a highly qualified teacher is one who has completed the certification and licensing requirements and those who attained at least a bachelor’s degree. Further, highly qualified teacher is also described as the one who demonstrate subject matter expertise (Beaudoin, 2003). The demonstration of subject matter expertise depends on the tenure and level of instruction of the teacher (Ehrenberg & Brewer, 1994). Having highly qualified teachers is recognised by NCLB to ensure that schools meet the standards provisioned by the law.
The schools try to meet the requirements of NCLB in terms of hiring highly qualified teachers. Part of the role played by highly qualified teachers (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2003) is to provide effective standardized tests. Much studies have been conducted to determine how highly qualified teachers affect the performance and achievement of the students, however only few have given attention to the issue of the effect of highly qualified teachers on standardized tests provided to high school students. Primarily, the goal of this paper is to determine the effect of highly qualified teacher on high school standardized tests. The focus of this study will be on three schools in Chaffey Joint Union High School district schools of Ontario High School, Montclair High School, and Chaffey High School.
1.1 Objective of the Study
The main purpose of this report is to determine the effect of highly qualified teachers on high school standardized examinations. Specifically this report attempts of answer the following objectives:
- To know the significant relationship of highly qualified teachers on the standardized tests provided in Ontario HS, Montclair HS and Chaffey HS.
- To determine the effect of highly qualified teachers on HS standardized tests result.
1.2 Null Hypothesis
This study will work on the following hypothesis:
“Highly qualified teacher affects high school standardized tests.”
2.0 Literature Review
2.1 Standardized tests
The use of formal standardized testing has grown in the United States throughout the twentieth century and permeated most major sectors of life. Standardized tests are an examination given to students in order to measure their achievement and performance. The standardized tests provide the same questions for each student which is usually in multiple-choice format and has only one best answer.
It was seen as an element of a systemic reform movement which seeks to align curriculum, standards and assessments to achieve a powerful impact on the educational system (Amrein and Berliner, 2002). Widespread testing had been done to assess the effect of standardized testing on student performance. Schools pointed out poor patterns of performance among the students in certain groups and locations (Amrein and Berliner, 2002).
One education reform that has been subjected to many questions and issues is the high stakes testing. High stakes testing tests mandated by law whose scores are used as the basis for distributing rewards and punishments to students, teachers, schools and school administrators. If students fail, this test can be used to place students in remedial tracks and to admit students to special programs. Starting 2004, students who do not pass the exit exam (HSEE) can be denied of a high school diploma. School and teachers with failing students on this type of test are ineligible for financial rewards.
If students do not improve over time, they could lose eligibility for state and/or federal funding could be disbanded or reconstituted and principals, teachers, and school staff can be reassigned, demoted, or even fired. On the other hand, schools that are able to meet or exceed the standard scores receive additional funding per pupil. Amounts vary depending on annual educational appropriations. In 2001, teachers in eligible schools received bonuses of five to twenty-five thousand dollars while schools receive sixty dollars per student.
- Ontario High School
OHS is a school which has been accredited with the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. The school is being recognised for maintaining and providing well-balanced educational system. The school is also noted for providing education that meets and exceeds the standards in terms of quality education. The primary goal of OHS is to give assistance to all students to attain their highest potential as a productive member of the society through efficient use of available resources.
- Montclair High School
MHS is noted as one of the oldest schools in the Chaffey Joint Union High School District. MHS campus ha two swimming pools and each of its classroom had air conditioning units and piped music when class changes. The school is consistently regarded by Ivy League and other top tier universities as an organisation which produces highly efficient and qualified academic students with social awareness. The school dignified itself through its achievement. The outstanding members of their faculty are able to continuously design programs and activities to meet the needs of their students. It offers a bright student life in terms of business and vocational arts, visual and performing arts, sports, community development and academically gifted programs.
- Chaffey High School
CHS is located in Ontario, California and is considered as one of the six most comprehensive school in Chaffey Joint Union High School District. In this school, academics are very essential. The complete spectrum of academic courses is complemented by a broad range of curricular programs. In order to meet the requirement of NCLB, the school has hired highly qualified teachers.
3.1 Research Design
For this report, the study will use descriptive method. In order to meet the objective of the paper, the researcher gathers information about the academic performance index of the three schools: Ontario HS, Chaffey HS and Montclair HS, specifically this will focus on the API results of the schools. The API of these schools in 1999 will be used since there is an assurance that these schools have not hired highly qualified teachers, because NCLB provision has not been passed during that period. On the other hand API of the schools in 2006 period will be used to identify changes after the schools have hired highly qualified teachers. Note that these schools have hired highly qualified teachers and the teachers have formulated the standardized tests use to measure the performance of the students and the school as well since the provision of NCLB. With this particular research, the researcher used documentary secondary data which is gathered from the website of Californian Department of Education which are generally about the academic performance index rating of the chosen schools.
To be able to determine if there is a difference between the assessments of the groups of respondents the analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used.
For the ANOVA calculations, the general form is summarized in the table below:
The Generalized ANOVA Table
|Source of Variation||Sum of Squares||Degrees of Freedom||Mean Square||F|
3.2 Data Analysis and Presentation
As stated in this methodology part, the research underwent stages. In the research design, the researcher collected secondary data and analyse using statistical approach: During the information collection, the researcher collated and summarised the data obtained. The researcher then analysed this information and from these, the researcher came up with findings and recommendations that shall be presented in the next chapters. The result of the analysis will be presented in tables.
4.1 Statistical Analysis
Much literature have been said and written regarding the NO Child Left Behind and its provision of highly qualified teachers (HQT). Most researchers have continued to surface the notion that teachers are the most essential predictor in identifying whether or not their students will learn in school. The law is very determined to change the educational system of United States, and its improvement includes hiring qualified teachers based on the criteria set under NCLB. For this research, the study focuses on determining the effect of HQT to standardized tests among High School students.
As mentioned above the research study give emphasis to three schools and to achieve the objective of this report, the researcher opt to use the result of the API prior to the provision of NCLB and HQT and the API after the NCLB and HQT have been provisioned.
The Academic Performance Index of the Three Schools is given below:
API Ontario HS (1999)
API Ontario HS (2006)
API Montclair HS (1999)
API Montclair HS (2006)
API Chaffey HS (1999)
API Chaffey HS (2006)
In order to determine whether highly qualified teachers affect the standardized tests, the researcher will compare the state-wide ranks of 1999 and state-wide ranks of 2006 of the three schools.
|School||Statewide Rank 1999||Statewide Ranks 2006|
Analysis of Variance Between the MEans of State-wide rank 1999 against the means of state-wide rank of schools in 2006
|Sum of Squares||df||Mean Square||F||Sig.|
The above table shows the analysis of variance between the two means: Statewide rank of the API (1999) and State-wide rank of the API (2006). In one-way ANOVA, note that the total variation is divided into two aspects. The between groups represent variation of the group means around the overall mean, whereas the within groups represents variation of the individual scores around the respective group means. Significant value represents significance lecel of the F-test. The significance level of this data is .333 which is greater than .05. In this regard, since the significant value is greater than .05, this means that there is a difference in the group. This further indicates that the API state-wide rank of the school which represents the performance of the students in the standardized tests in 1999 has a significant difference on the API state-wide rank of the school in 2006. Since there is a difference, we can therefore conclude that the highly qualified teachers affect the high school standardized tests.
4.2 Effect of HQT on HS Standardized Tests
As mentioned, standardized tests is noted to be the primary measure for determining the performance of students, the teachers and the school as well. The highly qualified teacher who made or formulates standardized tests affects the tests, specifically in terms of their personal knowledge (Darling-Hammond, 2003). Since the test would also determine their effectiveness, the teacher will probably create bias standardized tests to be able to make sure that their students will answer the questions correctly. Granted, that the standardized tests concentrates on student output, than the efficiency of the teacher inputs, such notion does not makes sense.
Such standardized tests is said to measure only a small partition of what teachers requires to do so as to help all students meet the generation’s learning standards. Furthermore, specific standardized tests which are usually done in reading and mathematics can only recognized 30% of the entire teachers in the US. In addition, to judge the value-added effects of teachers on standardized tests, test data should be available for sufficient number of students for the whole year.
The HQT also affects standardized tests, since they are to make this tests in accordance to their judgment and in accordance to the knowledge that they have. Indeed, HQT are those teachers who can show growth in student learning and who can provide effective, reliable and credible standardized tests.
The findings of the study have allowed the researchers to make the following conclusions. First, HQT shows significant effect on standardized tests based on the analysis using ANOVA. In this regard, the result of standardized tests is said to vary depending on the level of expertise of the highly qualified teachers and depends on the judgment of these teachers. This means that if the teacher would create biased standardized tests, the result may not be reliable to measure teacher’s effectiveness, students, and school performance.
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