Date of Award

1-1-2012

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Leadership and Policies

Sub-Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Rhonda Jeffries

Abstract

The purpose of this quantitative study was to measure teacher characteristics in high-poverty and low-poverty elementary schools in South Carolina. The similarities and differences of the teacher characteristics were compared in relationship to the poverty levels of the schools. The specific teacher characteristics measured were: advanced degrees, provisional/emergency certificates, retention, and salary.

Data collected from the South Carolina Department of Education included the 2010 South Carolina School Report Card for selected schools, the 2010 South Carolina Schools Poverty Index, and the 2010 South Carolina Elementary Performance Data File. High-poverty schools were identified as those having poverty indices of 80% or higher and low poverty schools were identified as those having poverty indices of 25% or less. Twelve high poverty schools with an absolute rating of "at-risk" and twelve low poverty schools with an absolute rating of "excellent" were selected for inclusion in this study. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software was used to analyze the data using the t-test.

The findings of this study showed there was a statistical difference in the measures of teacher characteristics in high-poverty and low-poverty elementary schools in South Carolina. The high-poverty schools had fewer teachers with advanced degrees, more teachers with provisional/emergency certificates, lower teacher retention rates, and lower teacher salaries than the low-poverty schools.

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