fication has little impact on career mobility, but it has a fairly substantial impact on the racial composition of the schools to which they moved.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The available research on career paths suggests that teachers who earn board certification may remain in the field longer than teachers who do not earn it. It also suggests that teachers who earn board certification become more mobile, and we speculate that they may possibly use the certification as a means for leaving the state to work elsewhere. We note that these are tentative conclusions based on the results from two studies and our own analyses. The findings need to be corroborated before any solid conclusions can be drawn.

The available evidence is clearly insufficient to answer the questions we posed in our evaluation framework. While some sources document aspects of the career path, these sources do not allow comparisons between board-certified and nonboard-certified teachers. Given that a major objective of the NBPTS is to provide a means for encouraging teachers to remain in the profession, we think it is important to study the career paths of board-certified teachers as well as the impact the credential has had on teachers’ career decisions.

We understand that the NBPTS has recently begun to investigate this issue and is in the process of collecting information from board-certified teachers about their current employment status. We did not have the opportunity to review plans for this analysis, but we encourage the board to pursue this avenue of research using scientifically sound sampling procedures, instrument design, and analytical methodology. One way to conduct such research would be to identify a specific time frame and select a random sample of teachers who applied for board certification (both successfully and unsuccessfully) during that time frame. It might be advisable to oversample teachers from specific groups, such as racial/ethnic minorities. A questionnaire could then be distributed to the sample to inquire about the career options they have pursued since applying for board certification. Comparisons of responses for successful and unsuccessful candidates would address questions about the impact of the credential on career paths.

Specifically, we recommend:


Recommendation 9-1: The NBPTS and other researchers should study the subsequent career choices of teachers who have applied for board certification. The information they collect should be analyzed for successful and unsuccessful candidates separately so the correlation between board certification and career choice can be evaluated. Studies that track teachers over long periods should also be used to test whether the process alters career



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