Teaching Profession

Students of National-Board Teachers Gain Slight Edge

By Linda Jacobson — November 30, 2004 3 min read

Ninth and 10th graders in the Miami-Dade County school district whose math teachers were certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards scored slightly higher than other students on a Florida mathematics exam, a study finds.

The study by the CNA Corp., a research organization in Alexandria, Va., was conducted by reviewing roughly 108,000 student records from the district from the 1999-2000 and 2002-03 school years.

“Is National Board Certification An Effective Signal of Teacher Quality?” is available online from The CNA Corporation. ()

“In this study, [national-board certification] proved to be an effective signal of teacher quality,” writes Linda C. Cavalluzzo, the author and chief investigator for the study. “To increase student outcomes in the nearer term, the challenge for school systems will be to implement professional-development programs or strategies that change practices so more teachers will adopt methods used by those who have already earned [board certification].”

Student records were linked to students’ subject-area teachers, and that information was used to set up a vast database of teacher and student characteristics. A teacher’s number of years in the classroom, whether he or she had an advanced degree, whether a student was identified as gifted, and if a student was repeating a grade were among the pieces of information included.

When the researcher looked at students’ scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, she found that teachers who had earned NBPTS certification were more effective at raising achievement than teachers with other attributes. Specifically, the “effect size” for a national-board-certified teacher was .07, which is statistically significant. For comparison, the effect size for a teacher with a graduate degree was .017, and for a teacher with a state high school certification, it was .06.

Black and Hispanic students appeared particularly to benefit from having board-certified teachers, according to the study. With those students, the effect sizes were about .15.

The most effective teachers had a combination of characteristics: national-board certification, a state certificate in mathematics instruction, and teaching assignments in math alone.

In an interview, Ms. Cavalluzzo called NBPTS certification a “nice, new important signal” that officials can use to identify and reward successful teachers.

Of the 2,000-some Miami-Dade teachers examined, 61 had already earned the credential, 101 were in the application process, eight had failed, and 10 had withdrawn from the program. The others had not engaged in the process.

Worth the Cost?

But some scholars question whether the credential is making a big enough difference in the classroom.

“Is this what policymakers thought they would be getting when they committed to a 10 percent salary increase and a $5,000 bonus?” said John E. Stone, an education professor at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, who has conducted his own research on national-board certification. “Plainly, having all [board-certified] teachers would make little difference relative to the magnitude of the problem.”

The new study, underwritten by the National Science Foundation, is the latest in a series of research projects that the Washington-based national board has commissioned in an effort to determine whether nationally certified teachers are helping to raise student achievement.

Previous research has shown more significant gains for students with such teachers. (“First Major Study Suggests Worth of National ‘Seal’,” March 17 and “Ariz. Study Sees Benefits in National-Board Certification,” Sept. 15, 2004.)

The CNA study, however, is the first to focus on the effects of the credential on high school students.

A version of this article appeared in the December 01, 2004 edition of Education Week as Students of National-Board Teachers Gain Slight Edge

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Strategies & Tips for Complex Decision-Making
Schools are working through the most disruptive period in the history of modern education, facing a pandemic, economic problems, social justice issues, and rapid technological change all at once. But even after the pandemic ends,

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Juliana Urtubey, an Elementary Special Educator, Is the 2021 National Teacher of the Year
Known as Ms. Earth for her work with school gardens, Urtubey is a National Board-certified teacher in Las Vegas.
4 min read
Juliana Urtubey
Juliana Urtubey
Courtesy Photo
Teaching Profession 4 Ways Districts Are Giving Teachers More Flexibility in Their Jobs
After a year-plus of pandemic schooling, some experts are seeing momentum for district leaders to reimagine what teaching can look like.
11 min read
Teacher working at home in front of camera.
Getty
Teaching Profession Why Teachers Leave—or Don't: A Look at the Numbers
New EdWeek survey results reveal why teachers consider leaving the profession, and how the pandemic has changed their decisionmaking.
6 min read
v40 32 Teacher Retention INTRO DATA
Stephanie Shafer for Education Week<br/>
Teaching Profession We Asked Teachers How They Want to Be Appreciated. Here's What They Said
All they need is respect, independence, a break, and a heartfelt word of thanks after a difficult year.
3 min read
Image shows a teacher in a classroom.
skynesher/E+