Date of Award

Winter 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Educational Leadership

Committee Director

William Owings

Committee Member

John Ritz

Committee Member

Steve Myran


Meeting the needs of placing "highly-qualified teachers" in the classroom is becoming more challenging every year. One option that many states are using involves certifying potential teaching candidates through alternative pathways, which differs from traditional certification programs. In this study, teacher certification routes were examined to determine if there is a difference in student performance on state standardized tests based on the teacher certification routes. This study compared student test scores of traditionally-certified teachers with test scores from students of alternatively-certified teachers on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) during the 2011-2012 administration of the test. The study findings revealed that alternatively-certified teachers' student scores were comparable to traditionally-certified teachers' student scores on the STAAR tests after three to five years of teaching experience and professional development. These findings can be a precursor to the efforts of other states evaluating whether traditionally-certified teachers and alternatively – certified teachers' student scores on state standardized tests are comparable when including other quantitative variables such as teacher performance on basic skill tests and teacher quality data. This will ensure prospective teachers have the ability to provide the teaching quality needed to increase the probability of successful student achievement.


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