Impact of National Board for the Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification on student achievement


  • Sarah Irvine Belson American University
  • Thomas A Husted American University



Teacher Leadership, Academic Achievement, Teacher Qualifications


A growing number of teachers have undertaken National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification training since its inception over twenty-five years ago. Previous empirical research on the impact of NBCTs on student performance has focused on state or district-level exams in individual states and found mixed results. This study examines the relationship between National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) and student achievement on the reading and math assessments of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). We argue that achievement can be affected both directly by the certified teacher and indirectly as NBCTs provide mentoring to colleagues and assume school leadership positions. This study focuses on a nationally representative assessment to measure student achievement rather than state- or district-level assessment exams.  We find that the percentage of National Board certified teachers in a state is positively related to scores on state-level NAEP Reading and Math assessments.


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Author Biographies

Sarah Irvine Belson, American University

Dr. Sarah Irvine Belson directs the Institute for Innovation in Education in the School of Education and is principal investigator on a number of US Department of Education and National Science Foundation projects focused on teacher development and special education. Her research explores educational opportunity for children with disabilities and teacher education policy with a focus on applied interventions for children at risk in two major areas, including special education technology and teacher education policy and practice. Dr. Belson’s experience as a K12 special educator and her focus on interventions to educational outcomes for children with disabilities and reduce cognitive load in children with specific learning disabilities is a cornerstone of her research and teaching. 

Thomas A Husted, American University

Dr. Thomas Husted is professor in and the chair of the Department of Economics. Dr. Husted’s research examines the political economy of various government expenditure programs, including primary and secondary education, income redistribution, and federal disaster aid. His research has also focused on the determinants of student outcomes.




How to Cite

Irvine Belson, S., & Husted, T. A. (2015). Impact of National Board for the Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification on student achievement. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23, 91.