Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Kay A. Keiser


The power of an effective teacher has been recognized for years. The teacher in the classroom has the greatest influence on student learning and achievement. This basic premise has been forced to the forefront of educational debate because the measurement of student learning and achievement is tied to state, national, and international assessments and American students are not at the top. If students are not performing well, then teachers must be responsible. The purpose of this study was to analyze how teacher instructional practices and teacher involvement in professional development are related to student achievement on the Nebraska State Accountability Mathematics Test (NeSA-M) during 2014. This study examined the variable of student achievement related to the variables of teacher practices in instruction and professional development. There were statistically significant relationships between teacher instructional practices and student achievement on the NeSA-M. Five instructional practices were statistically significant when examining student achievement. The results showed only two indicators, expanding mathematics practice for enrichment on a computer and setting different goals for individual students, had a positive impact on student achievement. Three other instructional practices showed a negative impact of NeSA-M test scores. The variable of professional development was analyzed for both topics and format. None of the professional development topics showed a statistically significant impact on student achievement on the NeSA-M test. Three of the indicators in professional development formats were statistically significant and only one of these, consulting with a subject specialist, had a positive relationship with student achievement. This study suggests that a carefully aligned curriculum must be implemented with fidelity to expect teachers to have a positive impact on student achievement. This study further suggests that different instructional practices can help students to achieve in mathematics. This study suggests that professional development has the potential to positively impact student achievement, but close supervision of the implementation of newly learned skills may be necessary to receive the greatest benefit.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2016 Denise M. Hoge.

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