issues to investigate and to provide evidence of the extent to which board certification has an impact on student learning. Specifically:

  1. How does achievement compare for students taught by board-certified and nonboard-certified teachers, after controlling for other factors? Are the differences meaningful? Do students taught by board-certified teachers have higher achievement or achievement gains than those taught by nonboard-certified teachers? Do student gains persist into the future?

  2. How do other student outcomes (such as motivation, breadth of achievement, attendance rates, promotion rates) compare for students taught by board-certified and nonboard-certified teachers?

The majority of studies that estimated effects of national board certification focus on student achievement (our Subquestion a). We located only one study that addressed other outcomes such as those listed in Subquestion b. The bulk of this chapter therefore addresses the findings from studies of student achievement. At the end of the chapter, we discuss other types of student outcome measures and propose research that should be considered in future investigations.

This chapter has five sections. In the first, we discuss issues related to using scores on standardized achievement tests as the outcome variable. The studies use sophisticated statistical methods, and in the second section, we discuss issues that bear on this kind of research and provide explanations of some of the technical terminology. The third section reviews studies of the impact of board certification on student achievement and our analyses of this topic. The fourth section describes the only study we located that examined student outcomes other than performance on achievement tests. The chapter closes with a discussion of conclusions that can be drawn from this evidence base and the types of research needed to fill gaps in what is known.


Nearly all the research discussed in this chapter uses student scores on standardized achievement tests as the measure of the impact of board certification. Using test scores in this way has a long history in research, and in the current federal accountability system established under the No Child Left Behind Act, test scores are the primary indicator of whether schools are making “adequate yearly progress.”

However, test scores as measures of achievement are not universally accepted as measures of student learning. Committee members from differ-

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement