Education and Certification Qualifications of Departmentalized Public High-School Level Teachers of Core Subjects: Evidence from the 2003-04 Schools and Staffing Survey
This report examines the postsecondary majors and teaching certifications of public high school-level teachers of departmentalized classes in a selection of subject areas. This report uses data from the 2003–04 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), a sample survey of elementary and secondary schools in the United States. SASS collects data on American public, private, and Bureau of Indian Affairs-funded elementary and secondary schools and their related components (teachers, principals, libraries, and districts, where applicable).
SASS provides information on a range of teacher qualifications in the United States. Prior research in the field of education has examined the correlation between teacher education (postsecondary major) and certification and student outcomes. While this report does not link teacher qualifications to student outcomes, it does examine the qualifications of high school-level teachers of departmentalized classes in three ways.
First, the report examines the percentage of public high school-level teachers who held either an in-field postsecondary major, in-field certification, or both, in a selection of main assignment fields—the subject in which teachers reported teaching the most classes. Second, the report looks at the percentages of high school-level classes taught and students taught by a teacher with one or both in-field qualifications. While the teacher-level analyses pair qualifications against the teacher’s main assignment, the classand student-level analyses consider all subjects taught by a teacher. Finally, the report examines the percentage of teachers in selected subfields of science and social science who held a major and/or certification in that specific subfield in relation to the percentage of teachers who held qualifications in any field within science and social science. In other words, the report provides some insight into whether teachers of the subfields hold infield qualifications in the specific subfield (e.g., chemistry) or at least in another subject within the broad field (e.g., any science).