Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

James S. Rinehart

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Abstract

The NBPTS was created in response to a call from A Nation at Risk (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983) and A Nation Prepared (Carnegie Forum, 1986) to ensure improved student academic performance in the United States. The mission of NBPTS is to establish rigorous standards for what teachers should know and be able to do, develop a voluntary national system to assess and certify teachers who meet these standards, and improve student learning in schools across the United States of America (Rouse & Hollomon, 2005). The ultimate goal of this process is to place effective, highly qualified teachers in classrooms, thus improving student performance.

A variety of books on program evaluation as it relates to NBPTS are available, including Advances in Program Evaluation (Ingvarson & Hattie, 2008) and Assessing Accomplished Teaching: Advanced Level Certification Programs (Hakel, Doenig, & Elliot, 2008), but they only evaluate portions of the certification process, the assessments, and parts of the five core propositions. Additionally, the nbpts.org website contains numerous articles which evaluate portions of the program. However, a holistic, formal evaluation of this program is not available. Without the evaluation element, it is difficult to assess the effectiveness of a policy (Fowler, 2009).

The goal of this study is to evaluate the National Board Certified Teacher program in Fayette County. It must be determined if the certification process is enabling candidates and recipients to make the gains and professional contributions that they are expected to make upon receiving this national credential. The Fayette County Board of Education provided a data set of elementary school RIT scores for more than 3500 students from the 2009-2010 school year. Additionally, Fayette County Elementary School teachers working in a building with at least one National Board Certified Teacher were surveyed to gain insight into the impact that NBCTs have on their colleagues in regards to instruction, assessment, and behavior management. The research is a mixed-methods study, utilizing both one-sample and independent sample t-tests, along with descriptive survey data. The independent variables for each hypotheses were whether or not teachers held their National Board Certification and student race and SES, measured by participation in the free and reduced lunch program. The dependent variable for the first four hypotheses is student growth as measured by a RIT score in reading, and the dependent variable for the fifth hypotheses included the number of others teachers had assisted with instruction, student behavior, assessment, or any other mentoring type activities.

The analysis of data resulted in the following findings: second and third grade NBCTs in the Fayette County Public School had significantly greater RIT growth in the area of reading than non-NBCTs. However, there was not a significance difference in RIT growth for fourth and fifth NBCTs and non-NBCTs. In regards to impacting colleagues, the data revealed that the teachers surveyed did not indicate that NBCTs provide more help in the areas of behavior management, instruction, and assessment than non-NBCTs. However, when both groups of teachers self-reported the numbers of colleagues they had assisted during the school years, NBCTs assisted a significantly greater number of teachers than non-NBCTs in the area of assessment. Additionally, the data indicates that 4.6% of the teaching population (NBCTs in Fayette County Elementary Schools) is providing 33% of all mentoring activities that aid in developing the instructional capacity of teachers within the sampled school buildings.

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