Degree Year

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Politics

Advisor(s)

Michael Parkin
Paul Dawson

Keywords

Education reform, No Child Left Behind, Teachers, Test scores, U.S. politics, Education policy

Abstract

Are teacher characteristics a significant factor in student learning? If so, which characteristics are effective? An original analysis of reading test scores of 5,000 fourth graders across the United States confirmed the difficulties researchers face when measuring teacher quality; it appears to account for only small variations in scores. Given the complexity, first, of the politics of "teacher quality" and, second, the improvement of primary education in the U.S., I offer some modest recommendations.

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