Dozens of AIR Reports at AERA Conference

Washington, D.C. – Results indicating that teacher certification and subject-area expertise were associated with higher mathematics test scores will be among the findings released this week by the American Institutes for Research at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Covering topics from Kindergarten mathematics to item construct validity, some 75 AIR experts will be participating in the April 12 to 16 conference in San Diego.

Highlights from a selection of AIR papers include:

  • Teacher certification and a college major or minor in the subject being taught were most associated with higher test scores, according to one study of the relationship between teacher qualifications and student math achievement. In addition, the study found that economically disadvantaged 8th graders were less likely to have a math teacher who was certified or who had a degree in the subject than wealthier students. Students in low-ability math classes get the least experienced and least qualified teachers. They are less likely than students in high-ability math classes to have a teacher with more than five years of experience teaching math, and also 23 percent less likely to have a teacher with a degree in the subject. Both across and within schools, highly qualified teachers are inequitably distributed, concludes the study, [“Prepared to Teach: Teacher Preparation and Student Achievement in Eighth-Grade Mathematics” – by Elizabeth Greenberg, et al.]
  • Charter school principals tend to earn lower salaries and, on average, have less experience as teachers and principals than their traditional public school counterparts, although the scope of responsibilities might make greater demands upon them, according to another report. Charter school principals have more diversified responsibilities; and are likely to have less administrative experience, training and education. At the same time, they are likely to have better rapport with their staff and teachers than public school principals. As the charter school movement continues to expand rapidly, the effect of less experienced principals upon student learning and achievement merits further investigation, the study finds. [“Who’s the Boss? An Examination of the Characteristics, Experience, and Training of Charter School Principals” – by Michael T. Luekens]

Complete copies of these and other reports released at AERA are available on  AIR experts are available to discuss a wide range of education topics, including student achievement, college financial aid, education technology, and media literacy. To arrange interviews with authors and other experts, please call contact Larry McQuillan at 202.403.5119.

The American Institutes for Research, founded in 1946, is a leader in the behavioral and social sciences. AIR is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization engaged in domestic and international research, development, evaluation, analysis, product development, training and technical assistance and assessment.

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