Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education

First Advisor

Dennis A. Bunch

Second Advisor

Hunter A. Taylor

Third Advisor

Douglas R. Davis


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



The purpose of this research study was to determine the interaction effects national board certified teachers (NBCTs) and teachers with advanced degrees (ADs); while considering school accountability levels, had on student achievement. This study examined whether significant differences existed in student achievement between the eight identified groups of teachers and how the factors of NBCT status, AD status, and accountability contributed. The study examined student achievement in grades three through eight on the end-of-the-year state assessments for the 2017-18 school year. This research endeavor relied upon the recruitment of local Mississippi school districts and their willingness to participate and share teacher and student data sets. Fourteen research questions and hypotheses were tested with two three-way ANOVAs; one for ELA scores on the MAAP (hypotheses and research questions one through seven) and one for mathematic scores on the MAAP (hypotheses and research questions eight through 14). Each three-way ANOVA tested seven hypotheses; which included three main effects and four interactions. The analyses sought statistically significant differences in NBCTs and non-NBCTs, teachers with ADs and those without ADs, the interactions of these teacher groups in high-performing and low-performing districts. There are three overall conclusions drawn from this research endeavor. First, NBCT status alone did not prove to be a significant factor in higher student academic achievement in ELA or mathematics on the MAAP for Mississippi students. As with NBCT status, and the second conclusion of this study, students taught by teachers with advanced degrees had significantly lower scores in ELA and mathematics on the MAAP than those taught by teachers without advanced degrees. The third conclusion of this body of research revealed, while the status of teachers holding NBCT certification or an advanced degree as isolated factors did not prove significant for student achievement, a combination of the two did. Students achieved higher and statistically significant overall achievement in both ELA and mathematics.



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