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Education and Certification Qualifications of Departmentalized Public High School-Level Teachers of Core Subjects: Evidence From the 2007-08 and Staffing Survey


"This report examines the postsecondary majors and teaching certifications of public high school- level teachers of departmentalized classes1 in a selection of subject areas by using data from the 2007-08 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 Education (BIE)-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 (Ferguson 1991, 1998; Goldhaber and Brewer 1997, 1999, 2000; Mayer, Mullens, and Moore 2000; Sanders, Wright, and Horn 1997). 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 earned a degree in an in-field major,2 held an in-field certification,3 had both in-field qualifications, or had neither in-field qualifications. Second, the report looks at the percentages of grade 9'12 classes taught by teachers with one or both in-field qualifications. Finally, the report presents findings on the percentages of students in grades 9'12 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 class- and student-level analyses consider classes of all subjects taught by a teacher. As a result, the class- and student-level analyses include all teachers who taught grade 9-12 classes, a slightly different group from the group of high school-level teachers included in the teacher-level analyses. Readers should be aware of these differences when making comparisons across tables in this report."