National Board Certification: An Analysis of Multiple Variables on Pass Rates
Pastore, Debra Ann
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National Board certification is generally accepted as the hallmark of accomplished teaching. As a result, many states offer a financial incentive to those who achieve this title. Several studies have been conducted on the National Board assessment in an attempt to decipher what is behind the moniker of National Board Certified Teacher. In Washington State, teachers are granted a Residency certificate upon completion of an approved teacher preparation program. At three years of teaching, teachers must work toward an advanced certificate to renew licensure. The Professional certificate follows the Residency certificate on the teacher development continuum followed by the National Board certificate. However, at three years of teaching teachers in the state of Washington have the option to pursue a National Board certificate or the Professional certificate. Washington State compensates teachers who are National Board Certified with an annual bonus of $5,000 for ten years (the life of the National Board certificate) or $10,000 per year if employed in a high-needs school. No monetary incentive is attached to earning a Professional certificate. As a result, teachers are faced with a major decision when choosing advanced certification. In relation to this study, the three-year eligibility requirement to apply for National Board certification is examined. It appears the National Board arbitrarily choose three years completed teaching as an eligibility requirement to apply. Little, if any research has been conducted that has explored whether the three-year cut-off point is enough experience to successfully pursue the National Board certificate. In addition, variables related to the teaching context, such as National Board certificate area (includes content and student level), school size, or gender have not been examined against National Board pass rates. An analysis of the findings revealed that there were no differences in National Board pass rates based on prior years of teaching experience at 3-5 years, 6-9 years and 10 + years. The implication for teachers in Washington State is significant. The evidence suggests that teachers could successfully pursue National Board certification at three years of teaching and bypass the Professional certificate to earn advanced certification.