Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

David Gullatt

Abstract

Within public schools throughout the United States, an emphasis has been placed on improving education for all students. In turn, this has resulted in legislators and policymakers placing an emphasis on assessing student learning and holding the education community accountable. In this study, the researcher examined one variable in the accountability effort: teacher absenteeism. The major purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between teacher absenteeism and fourth-grade student mathematical achievement.

Data for this study were generated from nine school districts located in northern Louisiana. Data consisted of attendance records of fourth-grade teachers and student performance on the mathematics portion of the fourth-grade Louisiana Education Assessment Program (LEAP). It was hypothesized that teacher absences would negatively impact student performance on the mathematics portion of the LEAP. Hypotheses were tested and analyzed using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and two multiple regressions.

Teachers were classified into four groups based on absenteeism rates of less than five days, five to ten days, eleven to fourteen days, and fifteen or more days per school year. The results of the one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) found no statistically significant relationship between teacher absenteeism groups and student mathematical performance on the LEAP. In the two multiple regressions, neither the demographic characteristics (i.e., teacher age, years of teaching experience, level of education, and certification type) nor the organizational variables (i.e., school socioeconomic status and student mathematical achievement) were significant predictors of teacher absenteeism. Several potential explanations for the lack of relationship between teacher absenteeism and student performance on the mathematics portion of the LEAP were discussed. Recommendations for future research were made, including the replication and extension of this study in other settings.

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