Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Educational Leadership and Policies


Educational Administration

First Advisor

Julie Rotholz


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between National Board Certification and student achievement in mathematics and reading as measured by an achievement test used in South Carolina. Using the Northwest Evaluation Association's Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), the study examined the RIT (Rasch Unit) scores of third through eighth grade students in two South Carolina school districts. The RIT scores at the beginning and the end of the 2010-2011 instructional year for students of National Board Certified teachers (NBCTs) were compared to students of non-NBCTs. Because of the contradictory research on NBCT's impact on student achievement and the costly investment attached to the national certification, it was important to determine if NBCTs in South Carolina produced greater gains than non-NBCTs using an objective measure. This study also added to the current research in that it involved middle school students and used a nationally normed test utilized in all 50 states.

\The researcher used the procedures of analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to estimate the differences between groups on a posttest after adjusting for differences on the pretest and multiple regression. ANCOVA was used partially to adjust for pre-existing differences among groups and because randomization was not possible. There were multiple independent variables but National Board Certification status was the variable of interest. The dependent variable was the Spring MAP score with the Fall MAP score as the covariate. The researcher sought to determine if the influence of NBCTs accounted for differences in achievement scores compared to students served by non-NBCTs. After controlling for teacher variables (certification status, years of experience, and degree earned), student variables (race, gender, and prior achievement level), and a school variable (school poverty index) the researcher asked the following question: do third through eighth grade students of National Board Certified teachers in South Carolina public schools have higher achievement scores on a nationally normed test in reading or mathematics than the students of non- National Board Certified teachers?

Results indicated that although there were slight positive differences for students of National Board Certified teachers in 9 out of 12 cases, results were only statistically significant in 2 out of the 12 cases. The p values from the significance tests were compared to .05 to determine statistical significance. The 2 cases that were statistically significant occurred in grades 3 and 5 in math. In 3 out of 12 cases, there were slight negative differences for students of National Board Certified teachers, none of which were statistically significant. Descriptively, the evidence was strongest for third grade mathematics with students of NBCTS scoring on average approximately 2.389 points higher than students of non-NBCTs.

States and school districts encouraged teachers to become National Board Certified on the basis that it improved teaching which would therefore increase student achievement. In South Carolina, the State Department of Education and several local districts give monetary and other rewards to teachers who earn National Board Certification, yet overall results from this study may not warrant expenditure of such funds.


© 2012, Shawn Berry Clark