Teacher Certification and Race/Ethnic and Economic Disparities in Early Academic Achievement

Madlene Hamilton, Rice University

As an exploration of some of the major provisions of No Child Left Behind, this study applies the resource substitution perspectives to the early years of elementary school and conceptualizes aspects of teacher certification type as potential compensatory resources for segments of the child population deemed at-risk for early academic problems because of their race/ethnicity, economic status, or both. Applying multilevel modeling and other statistical techniques to data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort revealed that poor and non-poor Black children were consistently the most at-risk groups in math between kindergarten and third grade and in reading by the end of third grade. Poor Black and poor Hispanic children, however, appeared to benefit more from teachers who had regular and/or elementary certification than their peers. In general, Hispanic children, regardless of economic status, tended to be the most responsive to teacher-based resources in the early grades.

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Presented in Session 44: Education Policy and Child Well-Being