choices. The data collected should include information about the extent to which state or district policies influenced the respondents’ career choices.
We also encourage further investigation of the impact of board certification on teachers’ career choices using national data sets, such as SASS. As a first step, we recommend that NCES further investigate the problems with the question on the SASS questionnaire, which asked respondents about their board-certification status. If the problems are indeed caused by the wording of the question, we suggest that alternative wordings of this question be pilot-tested before operational use to ensure that accurate information is collected when the survey is repeated. We also encourage education researchers to conduct analyses at the state level using procedures such as those employed by Goldhaber and Hansen (2007). Both national and state-level studies should consider a broad set of events in teaching careers in order to distinguish the effects of board certification from those of other kinds of career enhancements (such as obtaining an advanced degree or a promotion). Together these kinds of research could vastly improve understanding of the impact of board certification on teachers’ careers. On this point, we specifically recommend:
Recommendation 9-2: The National Center for Education Statistics should amend the Schools and Staffing Survey so that it collects information about respondents’ board certification status. In designing the survey questions on this topic, the National Center for Education Statistics should pilot-test alternate versions to ensure that respondents will accurately understand the question.
Recommendation 9-3: Researchers should use the data available from state-level data systems to expand the evidence on the mobility of board-certified teachers. These studies should use methodologies that permit comparisons of teachers’ career choices before and after becoming board certified and should compare the choices of unsuccessful applicants for board certification, teachers who successfully obtained the credential, and teachers who did not apply for board certification.