Teacher Expectations and Academic Achievement: A Comparison of Magnet and Non-Magnet Traditional Elementary Schools

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Administration

Date of Award

Fall 2012


National mandates such as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the state of Texas standardized system of accountability pressures educators to provide optimum educational experiences for our students. The momentous challenge is not just to educate students who can compete in the 21st century global society but to prepare them for the most recent assessment, the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR). This task is daunting for even the most experienced teacher. Researchers have shown that interactions between students and teachers suggest that certain aspects of pedagogy may influence student performance in the classroom. Teachers' expectations have been consistently cited as one of the moat crucial variables for successful academic achievement. In reference to student performance, magnet schools have become increasingly popular. Magnet schools are specialized schools designed to meet the needs of students with extraordinary focus and are typically an option for diverse population (Rossell, 2005). The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine how teacher expectations affect student achievement while comparing magnet and non-magnet traditional elementary schools. Eighteen randomly selected elementary schools and six magnet schools were studied. A total sample of 24 schools represented approximately 50% of the elementary schools in the large north Texas school district. Through the use of an online survey, elementary teachers provided valuable insight on the expectations they have for their students. This instrument also addressed their basic perceptions of appropriate strategies to use with a diverse population of students. The Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS�) version 20 was used to calculate t-tests, one-way, and two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The tests evaluated the relationships of teachers' educational levels, grade level teaching assignments, high and low expectations, and academic achievement while comparing magnet and non-magnet elementary traditional elementary schools. The results revealed statistically significant relationships for magnet versus non-magnet schools and grade level teaching assignments. Educational levels, high and low expectations and academic achievement were statistically insignificant. The information gained from this study could impact teacher interactions and strategies.


Maria Hinojosa

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision