High School Staff Characteristics and Mathematics Test Results


  • Mark Fetler California Department of Education




High Schools, Low Achievement, Mathematics Achievement, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematics Tests, Teacher Characteristics, Teacher Qualifications, Test Results


This study investigates the relationship between measures of mathematics teacher skill and student achievement in California high schools. Test scores are analyzed in relation to teacher experience and education and student demographics. The results are consistent with the hypotheses that there is a shortage of qualified mathematics teachers in California and that this shortage is associated with low student scores in mathematics. After controlling for poverty, teacher experience and preparation significantly predict test scores. Short-term strategies to increase the supply of qualified mathematics teachers could include staff development, and recruitment incentives. A long-term strategy addressing root causes of the shortage requires more emphasis on mathematics in high school and undergraduate programs.


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Author Biography

Mark Fetler, California Department of Education

Mark Fetler earned a doctorate in Psychology in 1978 from the University of Colorado, with training in cognition, measurement, and statistics. He currently works for the California Department of Education Special Education Division in the area of state- and district wide assessment. Past assignments include the California Department of Education Assessment Program, the California Community College Chancellor's Office, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the Northwest Regional Education Laboratory, and the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education. He serves on the boards of various professional and community organizations.




How to Cite

Fetler, M. (1999). High School Staff Characteristics and Mathematics Test Results. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 7, 9. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v7n9.1999