A fundamental issue inherent to education policy is whether teacher qualifications such as certification status, degree level, preparation, and experience predict student achievement. While existing research provides some direction regarding the potential importance of these qualifications for productivity in secondary schools, less is known about their importance for productivity in elementary schools. This study draws on data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS) to analyze the relationship between elementary school teacher qualifications and first-grade achievement in reading and mathematics. While we find no effects for certification status, we report positive effects for teachers’ degree type and experience on reading achievement. We also discover potential contextual effects of teachers’ qualifications on student achievement, with first-graders demonstrating higher levels of reading and mathematics achievement in schools where teachers report higher levels of coursework emphasis in these subject areas. We discuss the implications of these findings for policy and future research.