National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs Part Two)

Part Two: Effectiveness of National Board Certified Teachers

National Board Certified Teachers have demonstrated highly accomplished teaching.  What are the advantages to students of NBCTs?

The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, developer and assessor of the National Board Certification process, cites several studies showing the effectiveness of NBCTs.

> Students of NBCTs score 7 to 15 percentage points higher on year-end tests than students of non-NBCTs. NBCTs were particularly effective with minority students.  D. Goldhaber, University of Washington

> In 48 comparisons (4 grades, 4 years of data, 3 measures of academic performance), students of NBCTs surpassed students of non-NBCTs in almost three-quarters of the comparisons. The learning gains were equivalent (on average) to spending about  an extra month in school. L. Vandevoort, Arizona State University 

> More math NBCTs helped their students achieve greater testing gains in 9th and 10th grades than their non-certified colleagues—demonstrating particular benefits among special needs students and African-American and Hispanic students. L. Cavalluzzo, The CNA Corporation

> Students of NBCTs exhibit deeper learning outcomes more frequently than students of non-NBCTs. T. Smith, Appalachian State University

Based on my own experience, I think much of the benefit to students of NBCTs comes because the teacher is adept at evaluating his own practice.  Teachers who go through the process of becoming Board Certified have thought about their teaching in a reflective and scientific way.   These teachers are accustomed to evaluating every aspect of their teaching practice within the all-important context of student achievement.

A study by D. Lustick and G. Sykes of Michigan State University found that teachers who pursue National Board Certification show significant improvements in their teaching practices, regardless of whether they achieved certification.

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