Identifying Effective Math Teachers and the Overall Impact on Student Performance in Two Texas Charter High Schools




Blackmon, Olivia M.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Despite the reforms initiated by the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, the United States of America still struggles with the gaps in achievement test scores in math and reading between children from white and minority ethnic groups. These gaps are considerably larger in low-income disadvantaged school systems, where school populations are heavily drawn from ethnic minorities, than in suburban districts; however, research has shown that having staff who can effectively teach in low-income school districts can reduce these gaps. In particular, studies have found teacher efficacy strongly correlates with higher minority achievement in low-income school districts. This study examined the relationship between teacher efficacy in math teaching and student scores on the math section of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), through an in-depth examination of the achievement of students from different ethnic groups in two charter high schools in Houston, Texas. Quantitative data on teacher efficacy in math teaching were collected from a sample comprising sixteen high school teachers from these two schools. The teachers’ sense of self-efficacy was measured using the Mathematics Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (MTEBI), which reflects student engagement, commitment, approaches to teaching and overall perspectives of student conceptions of mathematics. The MTEBI was administered to the teachers in the fall of 2009. Quantitative data on individual student performance data on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) (math section only) were collected from students in these two charter high schools for the 2008-2009 academic school year. Each student’s individual record linked the student to his or her 2008-2009 academic year teacher, as well as containing the Identifying Effective Math Teachers 2 raw math score and key demographic data such as the student’s race/ethnicity, age, gender and whether the student was eligible to receive free or reduced lunch. The study presents descriptive statistics as well as the results of hypothesis testing using bivariate regressions to analyze the data. The study found that the MTEBI subscales teacher data was heavily skewed, with a positive skewness towards medium to high levels of Personal Mathematic Teaching Efficacy (PMTE) and Mathematics Teaching Outcome Expectancy (MTOE). The skewness of these two sub-scales created a nonnormal distribution of MTEBI scores. Furthermore, the bivariate analysis found no significance between MTEBI scores and student achievement on the TAKS based on race/ ethnicity, gender, free/reduced lunch, and at-risk students. Despite these studies findings, the literature reveals the teacher self-efficacy is a factor in student achievement.



Teacher Self-Efficacy, Student Achievement, Efficacy, High School Student, Self-Efficacy, Math Student Achievement