• unlimited access with print and download
    $ 37 00
  • read full document, no print or download, expires after 72 hours
    $ 4 99
More info
Unlimited access including download and printing, plus availability for reading and annotating in your in your Udini library.
  • Access to this article in your Udini library for 72 hours from purchase.
  • The article will not be available for download or print.
  • Upgrade to the full version of this document at a reduced price.
  • Your trial access payment is credited when purchasing the full version.
Buy
Continue searching

The effects of a teacher professional development intervention in American History on student achievement

Dissertation
Author: Marguerite Lofstrom
Abstract:
The Teaching American History (TAH) grant program was established to improve teachers' history content knowledge to positively impact student achievement. The purpose of this causal-comparative post-test only study was to investigate the difference between the Tennessee End-of-Course (EOC) U.S. history scores of the students whose teachers participated in the professional development intensive summer trainings and the achievement performance of the students whose teachers did not participate in the trainings. The study also examined the relationship between the 2005/2006 EOC U.S. history scores, teacher experience, and teacher's highest degree earned. The sample for this study was a total of 778 experimental and 799 control group students who attended high school in the Upper Middle Tennessee History Consortium area in the 2004-2005 or 2005-2006 school years and took the Tennessee End-of-Course U.S. history test during the time of this study. The teachers of the experimental group participated in a week-long intensive summer professional development training in 2004 and/or 2005. Control and experimental teachers were matched on characteristics of their schools' National Center of Educational Statistics (NCES) locale rating, the percentage of their schools' economically disadvantaged students, and their years of teaching experience. Statistical significance was found between the EOC U.S. history scores of experimental and control groups. The scores of the students whose teachers did not participate in the professional development trainings were higher than those of the students whose teachers did participate in the trainings. Weak, but statistically significant, relationships at the .01 level were found between the students' EOC U.S. history scores and the years of teacher experience. The teachers with the least experience had the students with the higher scores. There was a weak positive relationship at the .01 level between the teachers' highest degree earned and the student history achievement scores. Teachers with advanced degrees had students with higher scores. For practice and future research recommendations included use of student and teacher academic gain measurements, measurement of student attitudes toward history, use of disaggregated student achievement data, teacher and administrator in-services, and careful screening of teacher participants to determine commitment to building the innovation's sustainability in their schools.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES…………………………………………………………. xii CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION…………………………………………. 1 Statement of the Problem…………………………………... 3 Purpose of the Study……………………………………….. 4 Significance of the Study…………………………………... 4 Limitations of the Study…………………………………… 5 Research Questions………………………………………… 5 Definitions of Terms……………………………………….. 6 II. LITERATURE REVIEW………………………………….. 9 Introduction……………………….……………………….. 9 A Historical Overview of Education Reform and Professional Development…………………………………. 9 Teacher Quality and Student Achievement………………… 17 Effective Professional Development……………………….. 22 Content Standards………………………………….. 24 Context Standards………………………………….. 25 Process Standards…………………………………... 28 Planning and Evaluation of Professional Development……. 30 Standardized Testing and Student Achievement…………… 35

ix History Education………………………………………….. 39

Student Achievement………………………………. 39

Curriculum………………………………………….. 44

Teacher Preparation………………………..……….. 47

Teaching American History……..…………………. ……… 48

III. METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES………………… 51 Research Design……………………………………………. 51 Population and Sample…………………………………...… 51 Instrumentation…………………………………………..… 62 Treatment…………………………………………………… 64 Procedures………………………………………….………. 67 Data Analysis………………………………………………. 69 Hypotheses…………………………………………………. 70 IV. RESULTS………………………………………………….. 71 Control and Experimental Group Demographics…..………. 71 Results of Null Hypotheses Testing……………………...… 73 V. SUMMARY, FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS…………………………………... 84 Summary……………………………………………………. 84 Findings…………………………………………………….. 87 Conclusions………………………………………………… 92 Recommendations for Practice…………………………….. 96

x Recommendations for Future Research...………………….. 97 REFERENCES…………………………………………………………….. 99 APPENDICES……………………………………………………………... 115 A. Matched Group Demographics…………………………. 116

1A. Demographics of Matched Groups’ Schools………….. 117

2A. Matched Group Demographics Sorted by Groups…….. 118

3A. Group Demographics Sorted by Control or Experimental 119

4A. Descriptive Analysis of Teacher Experience of the

Control and Experimental Groups…………...………… 120

B. EOC Performance Standard 2001-2005………….…....... 121

C. Confirmatory Factor Analysis Fit Statistics for EOC Tests 123

D. Standard Error of Measurement Curves for EOC US

History………………………………………………….. 125

E. Letters of Support………………………………………. 127 1E. Sample Letter Requesting Support from Directors of Schools 128 2E. Clay County Schools Director’s Letter………………... 129 3E. Lebanon Special School District Director’s Letter…….. 130 4E. Macon County Schools District Director’s Letter……... 131 5E. Overton County Schools District Director’s Letter……. 132 6E. Robertson County Schools District Director’s Letter…. 133 7E. Sumner County Schools District Director’s Letter…….. 134 8E. Trousdale County Schools District Director’s Letter….. 135

xi 9E. Wilson County Schools District Director’s Letter…….. 136 F. Institutional Review Board Letter of Approval………… 137

xii

LIST OF TABLES

TABLE PAGE

1. 2005/2006 District Demographics……………………………... 55

2. 2005/2006 Demographics of High Schools of Experimental

and Control Schools………………………………………….… 58

3. 2006 Demographics by Ethnicity Percentage of

Experimental and Control Schools……………………..………. 60

4. 2005/2006 End-Of-Course U.S. History Test Results of

High Schools of Experimental and Control Groups……………. 61

5. Mann-Whitney for 2005 End-Of-Course U.S. History

Scores Difference……………………………………………….. 74

6. T-test for 2006 End-Of-Course U.S. History Scores

Difference………………………………………………………. 75

7. Mann-Whitney for 2005/2006 End-Of-Course U.S. History

Scores Difference……………………………………………….. 76

8. Linear Regression for 2005/2006 End-Of-Course U.S. History

Scores vs. Teacher Experience…………………………………. 78

9. ANOVA for 2005/2006 End-Of-Course U.S. History

Scores vs. Teacher Experience…................................................. 78

xiii 10. Regression Coefficients for 2005/2006 End-Of-Course U.S. History

Scores vs. Teacher Experience…………………………………. 78

11. Regression for 2005/2006 End-Of-Course U.S. History Scores

vs. Teacher Highest Degree Earned……………………………. 80

12. ANOVA for 2005/2006 End-Of-Course U.S. History Scores

vs. Teacher Highest Degree Earned………………..…………… 80

13. Regression Coefficients for 2005/2006 End-Of-Course U.S.

History Scores vs. Teacher Highest Degree Earned……………. 81

14. Regression for 2005/2006 End-Of-Course U.S. History Scores

vs. Teacher Experience and Teacher Highest Degree Earned… 82

15. ANOVA for 2005/2006 End-Of-Course U.S. History Scores

vs. Teacher Experience and Teacher Highest Degree Earned….. 83

16. Regression Coefficients for 2005/2006 End-Of-Course U.S. History

Scores vs. Teacher Experience and Teacher Highest

Degree Earned………..………………………………..……….. 83

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

I know that you, as historians, are familiar with the old historical truism that those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat it. In a two-room schoolhouse in the coalfields of southern West Virginia (I was the first in my family ever to get beyond the second grade) we had a historical truism—that those who do not remember the past will never graduate from high school. Senator Robert Byrd in accepting the American Historical Association’s Theodore Roosevelt-Woodrow Wilson Award for Civil Service on January 8, 2004 (Byrd, 2004). The concern that students are not learning American history has been termed a “Crisis in History” that is in need of federal legislative attention (Rabb, 2006). According to Stein (2003), it is the opinion of some historians and educational experts that the national emphasis of the No Child Left Behind Act on achievement in math and reading has overshadowed appropriate attention being given to teaching and learning history in our nation’s schools. The problem of weak teaching in history has been attributed to some of the following factors: a social studies curriculum that minimizes history content, the lack of proper American history content preparation for teachers, poor instruction delivered to students, and political influences that determine what is taught in the history class (Stein, 2003; Humphrey, Chang-Ross, Donnelly, Hersh, Skolnik, & SRI, 2005). Recent efforts to reform history education, like other student achievement improvement reforms, highlight the teacher as the key in effecting change (Wright, Horn, & Sanders, 1997; Darling-Hammond, 2000; Ball & Cohen, 1999; Porter, 1989). In response to the poor performance on history achievement measures, Senator Robert Byrd introduced the Teaching American History (TAH) Grants Program (U.S.

2 Department of Education, 2005). This professional development initiative is funded under Title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The program was created to “raise student achievement by improving teachers’ knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of American history” (U.S. Department of Education, 2005, Program description, ¶ 3). Competitive grants are awarded to local agencies to form partnerships with organizations, such as universities or museums, which have excellent American history content expertise. Most grants went to rural districts with students who were categorized as having minority backgrounds, free or reduced lunch eligibility status, or limited English language proficiency. With the technical support and the TAH funds, the grantees developed three-year, research-based professional development programs (U.S. Department of Education, 2005, Program description). Most grantees chose to deliver collaborative experiences through intensive summer institutes that averaged ten days in length (Humphrey et al. 2005). Of the 489 TAH grants awarded from 2001 through 2006, 10 were awarded to districts in Tennessee (U.S. Department of Education, 2005). These grantees included approximately 100 school districts in areas ranging in size and locale from small rural to large urban. Designated as the Upper Middle Tennessee History Consortium (UMTHC), this project included Volunteer State Community College partnering with 12 surrounding school county districts: Clay, DeKalb, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, and Wilson counties and Lebanon Special School District.

3 Statement of the Problem Student achievement in American history is poor (Patrick, 2002). Performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) U.S. history subtest over the last decade has indicated that students do not demonstrate an understanding of basic knowledge about their country. History experts blame this situation on the fact that teachers do not have a basic understanding of American history (Jackson & Jackson, 1989). Too often, claim Jackson and Jackson, one may graduate from college with a social studies degree without having taken a U.S. history course. Professional development for teachers is one way to address improving teacher knowledge and pedagogical skills to impact student achievement (National Association of Secondary School Principals, 2004). School reform advocates and research have suggested that there are certain practices of professional development that must be utilized if the intervention is to have any impact on teacher and student learning (U.S Department of Education, n.d.b; The White House, n.d.; Darling-Hammond, 2000; Fullan & Hargreaves, 1996; Schmoker, 2004; Sparks, 2002; Corcoran, Fuhrman, & Belcher, 2001). The Teaching American History grant is a research-based professional development grant program that was implemented to improve teacher content knowledge of American history and teaching skills as a way to increase student understanding of the subject matter (U.S. Department of Education, 2005). According to Humphrey et al. (2005), the research on best practices of teaching American history is limited. Small studies that have addressed the issues are not generalizable. Still, as Humphrey et al. point out, other education studies outside of

4 American history have found a positive relationship between increased student achievement and teacher quality. Currently, data regarding the TAH grants of 2001 and 2002 have been anecdotal and positive (Stein, 2003; Humphrey et al. 2005). More quantifiable data is needed to evaluate the efficacy of this type of professional development (Humphrey et al. 2005). Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between the performance on a standardized United States history achievement test of the students whose teachers participated in the professional development training of the Teaching American History Project and the achievement performance of the students whose teachers did not participate in the training. This study examined student performance at the high school level. The high school achievement was measured by using the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) End-of-Course (EOC) U.S. History test raw scores. This study examined the variables of years of teacher experience and the teacher’s highest degree earned to determine if there is a relationship between them and student achievement in U.S. history. Significance of the Study This research will contribute to the body of literature about teacher professional development in American history. Many studies have been conducted about professional development in math and science, but few have investigated professional development in history (Humphrey et al. 2005). Effective teaching of American history and improved student achievement in this area can contribute to building an informed and responsible

5 democratic citizenry. School board members and school directors may consider the data to make informed budgetary and other resource decisions related to building teacher capacity in their organizations. Limitations of the Study The subjects in this study were limited to only those students who were administered the 2005 or 2006 TCAP End-of-Course U.S. history test. The design of this study is posttest only so there is no way to determine if there are student achievement gains. Teachers in this study volunteered to be in the TAH training in this program or the control group. Selection of the teachers and the students was not random; therefore, causal relations cannot be made between the professional development training and student achievement. All the teachers of this study were limited to those who taught in the Upper Middle Tennessee History Consortium area. In some cases, teachers who participated in the training and those who volunteered to be in the control group may have taught U.S. history at the same school. Research Questions The following questions guided this research: 1. Does content-related professional development for teachers enhance student performance in that content area? 2. Do professional development training and years of teacher experience, as well as the interaction of these two factors, influence student performance in American history?

6 3. Do professional development training and the teacher’s highest degree earned, as well as the interaction of these two factors, influence student performance in American history? 4. Do professional development training, the years of teacher experience, the teacher’s highest degree earned, as well as the interaction of these three factors, influence student performance in American history? Definitions of Terms

CBSA : This term is an acronym for Core Based Statistical Area. It is used by the federal government to describe the collective grouping of metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas (National Center for Educational Statistics, n.da).

Economically disadvantaged : This term is used on the Tennessee State 2006 Report Card to describe the percentage of students who are eligible for free or reduced school lunch price (Tennessee Department of Education, 2006a; U.S. Department of Education, 2006).

Highly qualified teacher : The No Child Left Behind Act defined a highly qualified teacher as one who has earned at least a bachelor’s degree and has demonstrated competency in pedagogical skills and in the assigned core academic subject (The White House, n.d.).

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) : NAEP is a national assessment of student achievement in core academics and educational trends that was first initiated by Congress in 1969. The history assessments were conducted in 1986, 1988, 1994 and 2001 (National Center for Education Statistics, n.d.b).

7 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Locale Codes Category : One system used by federal agencies to classify geographical locations based on closeness to metropolitan areas, and population size and density. The NCES claims that the advantage to this system is that school addresses are used so that particular schools are assigned an individual code, rather than being assigned a code that is based on the location of the superintendent’s office. There are eight classification codes in this system: Large City; Mid-size City; Urban Fringe of a Large City; Urban Fringe of a Mid-size City; Large Town; Rural, outside Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA); and Rural, inside Core Based Statistical Area (National Center for Educational Statistics, n.d.a). Professional development : According to the Tennessee Department of Education (2006b), the purpose of professional development education is to develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes of teachers so that they may effectively teach. Examples of in-service professional development include: new teacher orientation, new teacher mentoring, workshops, summer institutes, common planning periods, and collegial dialogues. Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) End-of-Course (EOC) U.S. History test : This standardized criterion referenced test was developed by Pearson Educational Measurement for the Tennessee State Department of Education (Pearson Educational Measurement, 2005). It is designed to assess the student proficiency of the U.S. history content standards in eras six through ten (1870 to present). Successfully completing a high school level U.S. history course is a Tennessee graduation requirement. Taking the EOC U.S. history examination is required of each student who is

8 enrolled in the course. The EOC grade counts for at least 15% of the student’s final grade for the course in the semester the test was administered. Teaching American History (TAH) project of the Upper Middle Tennessee History Consortium (UMTHC) : This project includes public K-12 schools in Clay, DeKalb, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, and Wilson counties and the Lebanon Special School District of Tennessee which are partnered with Volunteer State Community College (VSCC). The three-year summer institute program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education through the Teaching American History grant program. The goal of the project is to increase students’ interest in and understanding of American history by increasing teachers’ content knowledge of traditional American history, teachers’ use of primary materials and local and technology resources to teach history, and pedagogical strategies to motivate students in learning American history (Tennessee Department of Education, 2006a). Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS) score : The TVAAS score is a statistically scaled score that is said to measure the influence the school has on the individual student’s academic progress within a subject (Tennessee Department of Education, 2006b).

CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction This chapter contains a review of related literature under the headings: A historical overview of education reform and professional development, teacher quality and student achievement, effective professional development, planning and evaluation of professional development, standardized testing and student achievement, history education, and teaching American history. A Historical Overview of Education Reform and Professional Development The need for reform in schools was based on the need to help students be better prepared for the future (Futrell, 1986). According to Airasian (1987), schools became the places of social reform because they were viewed as a leveling place where all were on equal footing. Airasian continued that schools were ideal reform centers because they had a captive audience of the young who were flexible to learning new social ideas, and a gradual social change could be effected without disrupting the social order. As the classrooms changed over the decades, said Futrell (1986), so did the demands and responsibilities of the teacher. Futrell argued that teachers could not remain static in the changing times. Corcoran (1995) stated that reform efforts raised expectations for both students and teachers, so that teachers had to learn new skills to change their teaching practices. Corcoran continued that professional development should focus on the teachers’ need to

10 learn their subject content and new teaching methods, and provide time for professional collegial sessions to evaluate standards and develop relevant curriculum. Willis (2002) and Little (2003) concurred that the teachers’ need for improved and different learning also changed as new reforms and policies about teaching and learning were implemented. Stigler (Willis, 2002) argued that between the 1990s to present day, the standards-based movement had prompted a need for professional development to train teachers how to analyze their teaching and resulting student learning, implement alternate teaching practices, and judge when to use various differentiated teaching methods. Daniels (n.d.), in a testimony to the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee Subcommittee on Education, Arts and Humanities, stated that education reform is a complex process and urged policy makers to not “dance away from reform before it can happen” (p. 6). Daniels asked the legislators to give more attention to retraining teachers “through sophisticated professional training—the final step in delivering the promise of reform” (pp. 1-2). Porter (1989) claimed that teachers were not seen as key components in education reforms of the 1960s and 1970s, but more as technicians that were trained to carry out “teacher-proof” curriculum (p. 344). It was not until the 1980s, said Porter, that teachers became instruments of educational solutions. Little (2003) claimed that education reform periods from the 1980s to 2000 had moved from a climate of progressive, local level control to one of conservative and centralized control. Laguardia, Brink, Wheeler, Grisham, and Peck (2002) stated that new educational reform began in the United States

11 in the 1980s after the publication of the U.S Department of Education’s A Nation at Risk and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Investing in People. The National Commission on Excellence in Education (NCEE) (1983) reported in A Nation at Risk, that the United States was determined at risk because the labor force coming out of the American school systems was not equipped to compete in the world markets. The NCEE was disturbed that citizens who were not adequately educated would become disconnected from the American society. As a solution to this crisis, the NCEE called for learning communities comprised of parents, teachers, administrators, school board members, the post secondary education community, union, military and political leaders, the scholarly and scientific community, and all American citizens. “A high level of shared education is essential to a free, democratic society and to the fostering of a common culture, especially in a country that prides itself on pluralism and individual freedom” (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983). Teacher dedication and a growing body of knowledge in the areas of teaching and learning were considered essential in achieving excellence in education reform for lifelong learning. In order to improve the teacher preparation or pre-service programs so that educators could teach a strong content-based curriculum, the NCEE in the A Nation at Risk report advised that colleges and universities graduate teachers who had met high standards in pedagogy and an academic content discipline (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983). To address the low salary teachers traditionally earned, the report suggested that competitive, performance-based salaries be tied to the evaluation systems that promote good teachers and improve or terminate poor teachers.

12 The report also recommended that compensated time for professional development should be provided for through 11-month teacher contracts. Additionally, learning community leaders were called upon to develop teacher career ladders that differentiated between beginning, experienced, and master teachers. To address the content-qualified teacher problem, especially in the areas of math and science, the NCEE suggested several solutions. Shortages of math and science teachers could be lessened by hiring non-school personnel. Incentives and grants would be offered to attract high performing students to the teaching career. Another recommendation suggested using experienced, master teachers to help design teacher training programs and supervise beginning teachers the first few years of their careers. Slavin (1983) claimed that the A Nation at Risk and related “macro-level” (p. 136) reforms that increased standards without giving support would not make a difference in student achievement. What were needed, Slavin argued, were well designed, coherent, and effective professional development programs that were based on evaluations of their impact on student learning. Futrell (1986), then president of the National Education Association (NEA), criticized education reforms of the 1980s for trying to “fix the teacher”, when they “were never ‘broke’ in the first place” (p. 6). Rather than empowering the teacher and principal in the decision-making process, Futrell found that the top-down style of reforms that included merit pay, emergency certifications and career ladders, and teacher competency tests were disincentives and insulting to the education profession. Porter’s (1989) analysis of standards reforms of the 1980s concluded that individual excellence cannot be legislated. Porter reasoned that reformers

13 and legislators should not mandate pedagogical standards, but should empower teachers to be involved in establishing student achievement standards to effect real change. According to Laguardia, Brink, Wheeler, Grisham, and Peck (2002), the interventions implemented in the 1980s did not result in the desired outcome of improved student achievement. The next school improvement trend, according to Laguardia et al. (2002), began in the 1990s and put an emphasis on performance outcomes and accountability. “U.S. Presidents from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush have made school reform and standardized testing a visible component of the national education agenda” (Laguardia et al., 2002, p. 2). Cohen-Vogel (2005) stated that the federal government’s policies addressing education during the 1990s had shifted from focusing on inputs, such as student-teacher ratios, to educational outputs in the form of measurable standards and assessments. The underlying assumptions of these policies, according to Cohen-Vogel, were that all children could achieve high learning standards, teaching influenced student learning, and performance on standardized tests would accurately measure teacher quality. According to The National Education Goals Panel (NEGP) (1999), a panel of governors and the president first met in 1989 and identified the need for national performance goals in core academic courses, especially math and science, that would “provide a common direction for educational improvement in all states, yet still allow states and local communities to determine for themselves how best to achieve the desired results” (p. 2). The Goals 2000 legislation, a product of the NEGP, declared that by 2000 all teachers would have the opportunity to participate in pre-service and in-service

14 activities to increase their knowledge to teach a diverse population (The National Education Goals Panel, 1999). States and local school districts were directed to provide professional development that would attract and maintain a high quality team of teachers that were able to teach challenging material to all students. Schmoker (1999) believed that evidence of successful standards-based programs demonstrated that this approach to increasing student achievement could lead to school reform if the standards were clear, concise, and not unwieldy. Schmoker stated that teachers, both new and experienced, were able to improve their professional lives by engaging in ongoing exploration of and dialogues focused on standards-based materials and aligned assessments. Little (2003) stated that the late 1990s to present day were a time of high stakes accountability. Ironically, Little continued, reform efforts that called for teachers to take on more site-based leadership, at the same time, were couched in a climate of legislative control over the teacher’s activities. Enacted in 1965 and reauthorized in 1994, the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA): No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act was signed by President George W. Bush in 2002 (Trahan, 2002). This law was comprised of Title I which dealt with aid to disadvantaged students and Title II which dealt with improving teacher quality (Trahan, 2002). Simpson, LaCava, and Graner (2004) claimed that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) “is potentially the most significant educational initiative to have been enacted in decades” (p. 67). Individual school, district and teacher accountability and student performance outcomes are essential components of the NCLB Act of 2001 (Trahan, 2002). Based on the premise that “teacher excellence is vital to

15 achieving improvement in student achievement,” the provisions of Title II address teacher preparation, training, and recruitment (The White House, n.d., p. 9). In an effort to raise student learning achievements for all students, including those of low socio-economic status and those with disabilities, Title II entitled students to have high quality teachers and schools (Simpson, LaCava, & Graner, 2004). A “highly qualified” teacher was defined in NCLB as one who has teaching certification, earned a bachelor’s degree and is competent in the assigned core academic subject and in pedagogy (The White House, n.d.). All teachers were required to be highly qualified by the end of the 2005-2006 school year and states were required to report their teachers’ status yearly. Cohen-Vogel (2005) suggested that the NCLB act shifted the accountability for producing highly qualified teachers from teacher preparation post-secondary institutions to the local government by including provisions for alternate teacher certification. Cohen-Vogel continued that the 1990s underlying assumptions that high teacher quality impacted student achievement had not changed with this piece of legislation. NCLB financed Teacher Quality Grants programs using funds that had once gone to the Class-Size Reduction Program (CSR) and the Eisenhower Professional Development program (Cohen-Vogel, 2005). Section 2133 of NCLB specified 18 activities for which states may use grant funds to improve teacher quality (U.S. Department of Education, n.d.a). Included were provisions to enhance teacher training, certification and recruitment, new teacher training and mentoring, alternate teacher certification, and teacher evaluation. In contrast to pre-service training, Title IX of NCLB

Full document contains 152 pages
Abstract: The Teaching American History (TAH) grant program was established to improve teachers' history content knowledge to positively impact student achievement. The purpose of this causal-comparative post-test only study was to investigate the difference between the Tennessee End-of-Course (EOC) U.S. history scores of the students whose teachers participated in the professional development intensive summer trainings and the achievement performance of the students whose teachers did not participate in the trainings. The study also examined the relationship between the 2005/2006 EOC U.S. history scores, teacher experience, and teacher's highest degree earned. The sample for this study was a total of 778 experimental and 799 control group students who attended high school in the Upper Middle Tennessee History Consortium area in the 2004-2005 or 2005-2006 school years and took the Tennessee End-of-Course U.S. history test during the time of this study. The teachers of the experimental group participated in a week-long intensive summer professional development training in 2004 and/or 2005. Control and experimental teachers were matched on characteristics of their schools' National Center of Educational Statistics (NCES) locale rating, the percentage of their schools' economically disadvantaged students, and their years of teaching experience. Statistical significance was found between the EOC U.S. history scores of experimental and control groups. The scores of the students whose teachers did not participate in the professional development trainings were higher than those of the students whose teachers did participate in the trainings. Weak, but statistically significant, relationships at the .01 level were found between the students' EOC U.S. history scores and the years of teacher experience. The teachers with the least experience had the students with the higher scores. There was a weak positive relationship at the .01 level between the teachers' highest degree earned and the student history achievement scores. Teachers with advanced degrees had students with higher scores. For practice and future research recommendations included use of student and teacher academic gain measurements, measurement of student attitudes toward history, use of disaggregated student achievement data, teacher and administrator in-services, and careful screening of teacher participants to determine commitment to building the innovation's sustainability in their schools.