Georgia administrators' perceptions of National Board Certification of teachers

Amanda Kelly Richie

Abstract

Teaching is one of the most important careers in our society. There are many reasons why people wish to become teachers. The most prominent reason is a desire to work with young people (Ornstein & Levin, 1993). Like all professions, teaching has changed considerably over the years and with these changes, the expectations of what a teacher should know and be able to do has changed as well. The National Board was established in 1987 as a result of several published reports on the condition of American's schools and through an effort to reform schools and the process of schooling. The mission of the board was to establish high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do, to develop and operate a national voluntary system to assess and certify teachers who meet the specific standards and to advance related education reforms for the purpose of improving student learning in American schools (Kelley, 1999). The purpose of this study was to gain information based on the perceptions of randomly selected administrators throughout the state of Georgia regarding National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) and in particular the hiring practices that might be affected by this certification. The study explored several areas to determine the value of National Board Standards and National Board Certification as perceived by administrators. Administrators completed a survey instrument developed to acquire knowledge about the quality of Board Certified teachers and hiring decisions based on the standards and assessment of Board Certified teachers. The study investigated administrators' perceptions based on three socio-economic levels of schools. There was no significant difference in the perceptions of the administrators in low, medium, or high of socio-economic levels of schools. The study also looked at the administrators' perceptions in relation to whether or not there was a Board Certified teacher at that administrator's school. There was no significant difference in the perceptions of administrators that had Board Certified teachers and those administrators that did not have Board Certified teachers within their buildings. The findings of the instrument suggested that administrators did not perceive National Board Certified teachers as superior educators and most did not use the standards or the certification in hiring or evaluating teachers. Administrators, however, did believe that teachers should be supported and rewarded for the certification.