Thanks to Eduwonk’s prodding, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards released an overview of a study by value-added guru William Sanders concluding board-certified teachers don’t produce greater academic gains for their students than non-certified teachers.
In an Education Week story, Sanders put his conclusions in context.
Mr. Sanders, who manages the value-added assessment and research center at the private SAS Institute in Cary, N.C., said one way to think about the implications of the study would be to envision two teachers with identical experience and education applying for the same job—one holding national board certification and one not. To choose the board-certified teacher over the teacher without the credential would be “only trivially better than a coin flip,” the researcher said.
NBPTS hasn’t put the whole study on its web site, Eduwonk observes, and the “overview” tries to downplay the study’s conclusions by criticizing its methodology and sample size.
Board certification requires “an extensive series of performance-based assessments, which includes teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes or DVDs and thorough analyses of the candidate’s teaching and the students’ learning. The process involves written exercises that probe the depth of a candidate’s subject-matter knowledge, as well as his or her understanding of how to teach those subjects.” The process is voluntary. Board-certified teachers typically get a significant bonus from their school districts.