Teacher qualification and the achievement gap in early primary grades.


  • Donald Easton-Brooks University of North Texas
  • Alan Davis University of Colorado Denver




equity, teacher certification, teacher qualifications, student achievement, reading, value-added, Early Childhood Longitudinal Study.


Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act (P.L. 107-110, 115 Stat. 1245, 2002) holds schools accountable for reducing the academic achievement gap between the different ethnic groups and requires elementary school teachers to have at least a bachelors degree and a state certification. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of the qualification requirement of NCLB to the goal of reducing the academic achievement gap. The study found that students with a certified teacher for most of their early school experience scored higher in reading than students who did not have a certified teacher. In addition, certification was associated with slightly narrowing the academic gap between African American and European American students across early elementary grades.


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Author Biographies

Donald Easton-Brooks, University of North Texas

Donald Easton-Brooks is an assistant professor in the Teacher Education and Administration Program at the University of North Texas. His research interests include the impact of educational policy and early elementary education on under-represented communities. His interests also include using advanced statistical approaches to address closing the achievement gap.

Alan Davis, University of Colorado Denver

Alan Davis is associate professor of research and evaluation methodology in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver. His research is on culture and schooling.




How to Cite

Easton-Brooks, D., & Davis, A. (2009). Teacher qualification and the achievement gap in early primary grades. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 17, 15. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v17n15.2009