National Board Certification and student achievement: do they relate in Louisiana?
Foster, Barbara Ann
Candidate for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Elementary, Middle, and Secondary School Administration The state of Louisiana has spent a large amount of money over the past years to ensure highly qualified teachers for every student. This study aimed to discover whether or not there was a statistically significant association between teachers who attain National Board Certification and student gains in achievement on standardized tests specifically the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) in an urban Louisiana school district. The research was to determine if students taught by Nationally Board Certified teachers (NBCTs) outperformed students of comparable backgrounds taught by Non-Nationally Board Certified Teachers (Non-NBCTs). To accomplish this, the research examined English Language Arts and Mathematics test scores of fourth and eighth grade students taught by NBCTs and compared them with those of students taught by Non-NBCTs to determine if the gains made by the group taught by NBCTs were statistically significantly different from those taught by Non-NBCTs. The results of the data analysis indicated that there was a statistically significant difference between the score differences of fourth grade English Language Arts students and eighth grade English Language Arts students taught by NBCTs when compared to those taught by Non-NBCTs. The fourth and eighth grade score differences of students taught by NBCTs were statistically significantly higher. However, the analysis of the data also revealed there was not a statistically significant difference between the score differences of 4th grade math students taught by NBCTs when compared to those taught by Non-NBCTs. There were no NBCTs for 8th grade Mathematics students. One recommendation for further research should be to focus on more than one district to determine if results would be similar. Another recommendation, the Louisiana Department of Education should study all areas of high-stakes testing within the state to determine if teacher certification, especially NBCTs, have an impact on student achievement. The Louisiana Department of Education’s should use its extensive data base for a study determine whether National Board Certification contributes to increases in student achievement across all grade levels.