The effectiveness of teacher certification programs as measured by student achievement and teacher attrition

Michael Warmack, University of Texas at El Paso


This study examined the effectiveness of teacher certification programs, in particular those identified as traditional and alternative, by comparing student achievement, teacher attrition rates, and the reasons given by teachers for leaving the employment of the school district which was the focus of the study. To compare the achievement of students taught by traditionally and alternatively prepared teachers, the Texas Growth Index was calculated for students and then aggregated for teacher preparation routes. The mean values were compared for statistically significant differences as a function of subject, grade level, socioeconomic status, and limited English proficiency. To compare attrition, the status of the newly hired teachers in their second year was cross tabulated with their preparation route. To compare the reasons for leaving given by teachers, the categorical reason was cross tabulated with teacher preparation route. ^ The findings of this study revealed that a statistically significant difference in student achievement between students taught by teachers who were traditionally and alternatively prepared existed only in mathematics as a function of socioeconomic status. Students who qualified for free or reduced price meals and who were taught by traditionally prepared teachers showed a statistically significant higher mean TGI value than those taught by alternatively prepared teachers. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups of teachers in either attrition rates or the reasons given for leaving the school district. The findings suggested a minimal difference in the effect of teacher preparation route upon student achievement and no difference in the tendency or reasons of teachers for leaving the school district. Based on the findings, the researcher questions the rational of hiring policies which favor traditional verses alternative teacher preparation programs.^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Teacher Training

Recommended Citation

Warmack, Michael, "The effectiveness of teacher certification programs as measured by student achievement and teacher attrition" (2008). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3310668.