Our evaluation framework focused on career paths for teachers with this question:

Question 6: To what extent and in what ways are the career paths of both successful and unsuccessful candidates affected by their participation in the program?

To respond to this aspect of the evaluation, we identified three specific issues to investigate with regard to teachers’ career paths:

  1. What are the typical career paths for teachers? Does the career path change for those who obtain advanced certification? What are the effects on the career paths of teachers who attempt to become certified but who are unsuccessful?

  2. Do departure rates differ for board certified and nonboard-certified teachers with regard to leaving teaching (attrition), including those who leave classroom teaching for other jobs in schools (transition)?

  3. Does the program have any effects on teacher mobility within the teaching field? Does it encourage teacher mobility in ways that are beneficial for lower performing students or in ways that contribute to inequities—for example, do board-certified teachers move out of urban areas to wealthy suburban districts?

Our literature review quickly revealed there are very few studies that have examined the job transitions and career changes teachers make after becoming board certified. One study (Goldhaber and Hansen, 2007) examined teachers’ mobility patterns in North Carolina, and one question on the survey administered by Sykes et al. (2006) asked teachers about their future plans. In addition, follow-up surveys to the 1993 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Survey (B&B) collected information that allowed some basic comparison of career paths for board-certified and nonboard-certified teachers, and we conducted analyses of these data. We expected to be able to draw from the results from another national data collection, the Schools and Staffing Survey, which includes an item on board certification, but a flaw in the question rendered the data unusable. We describe the problems in more detail later in this chapter.

Our analyses combined with the results from prior research provide some basic information about teachers’ longevity in the field and about teacher mobility. We were unable to locate any information that deals with teachers’ transitions out of the classroom to other positions in K-12 education.

We begin this chapter with an explanation of the challenges of conduct-

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