Regardless of the path, longitudinal analyses of test scores for large samples of students need to be balanced with smaller scale studies that use different methods or outcomes. Cantrell et al. (2007) provides one example of a smaller scale study that used random assignment and allowed the researchers to draw more valid conclusions. Helding and Fraser (2005) demonstrate an example of a study that expanded the kinds of outcomes to student attitudes and motivation. In addition, some of the validation studies discussed in Chapter 5 were based on classroom observations and reviews of student work. In these studies, the researchers evaluated the complexity of teachers’ assignments, the quality of student work samples, and the depth of students’ questions during classroom discussions. These are examples of other measures that might be considered.
We therefore make the following recommendations:
Recommendation 7-1: To the extent that existing data sets allow, we encourage replication of studies that investigate the effects of board-certified teachers on student achievement in states besides North Carolina and Florida, in content areas beyond mathematics and reading, and in grades beyond the elementary levels. Researchers pursuing such studies should work with the national board to obtain the information needed to study the effects of teachers who successfully obtained board certification as well as those who were unsuccessful.
Recommendation 7-2: We encourage studies of the effects of board-certified teachers on outcomes beyond scores on standardized tests, such as student motivation, breadth of achievement, attendance rates, and promotion rates. The choice of outcome measures should reflect the skills that board-certified teachers are expected to demonstrate. Such research should be conducted using sound methodologies, adequate samples, carefully controlled conditions, and appropriate statistical analyses.