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ERIC Number: ED557793
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Pages: 103
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 50
Education and Certification Qualifications of Public Middle Grades Teachers of Selected Subjects: Evidence from the 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Survey. NCES 2015-815
Baldi, St├ęphane; Warner-Griffin, Catharine; Tadler, Chrystine
National Center for Education Statistics
This report examines the postsecondary majors and teaching certifications of middle grades teachers in public schools in selected subject areas by using data from the 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS). SASS is a sample survey of elementary and secondary schools in the United States that collects data on American public and private elementary and secondary schools and their related components (teachers, principals, libraries, and districts, where applicable). Prior research in the field of education has examined whether teachers with better education, training, and content expertise, demonstrated through years of experience, subject matter tests, or postsecondary education, show an association with students featuring greater gains in achievement (e.g., Boyd et al. 2007; Clotfelter, Ladd, and Vigdor 2010; Darling-Hammond 2000, 2010). Teacher qualifications are important in association with middle grades student outcomes. Middle school is a crucial time in children's development, and problems with disengagement, behavior, and achievement in middle school are positively related to negative high school academic experiences (Balfanz, Herzog, and Mac Iver 2007; Bowers 2010). This report provides information on the extent to which middle grades teachers have relevant certification and content knowledge in the subject areas in which they teach. Given the interest in teachers' qualifications as they influence student outcomes and experiences, this report provides important context for understanding the extent to which middle grades teachers hold in-field qualifications in their class assignments. This report classifies teachers by their main assignment, defined as the subject in which they teach the most classes. Because of differences in the classroom and teaching structures of departmentalized and nondepartmentalized teachers, the report separates middle grades teachers into departmentalized and nondepartmentalized categories. Departmentalized teachers are those who instruct several classes of different students most or all of the day in one or more subjects. Nondepartmentalized teachers are those who instruct the same group of students in different subjects or provide instructional services to small groups of students, for example, students who are "pulled out" of class for additional services. For departmentalized teachers, the report provides results at the class and student level and examines 12 broad fields: English, mathematics, science, social science, French, German, Spanish, art/arts and crafts, music, dance/drama or theater, health education, and general elementary education. There are six subfields for which science and social science are analyzed with more granularity; these include biology/life sciences, physical science, earth science, geography, government/civics, and history. In nondepartmentalized settings, seven broad fields are examined: General elementary education, English, mathematics, science, social science, music, and health education. The report examines the percentages of middle grades teachers (in departmentalized and nondepartmentalized classrooms) who earned a degree in an in-field major, held an in-field certification, had both in-field qualifications, or had neither in-field qualification. Among departmentalized teachers, the report looks at the percentages of grade 6-8 classes and students taught by teachers with one, both, or neither in-field qualifications. In addition to describing qualifications, the report presents findings specific to how nondepartmentalized middle grades teachers distribute their paid instructional hours across the most common core subjects (English, mathematics, science, and social science). The following are appended: (1) Standard Error Tables; (2) Supplementary Table: Major/Minor in Main Assignment; (3) Technical Notes and Methodology; (4) Description of Variables Used in This Report; (5) Glossary of Terms.
National Center for Education Statistics. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education; Grade 7; Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED); Insight Policy Research
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Schools and Staffing Survey (NCES)
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: ED-IES-13-C-0079