This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

A Survey of Alabama School Principals’ Perceptions of the Effectiveness of the National Board Certification Process




Griffin, Robert

Type of Degree



Educational Foundations
Leadership and Technology


The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is a voluntary documentation and demonstration process of an accomplished teacher’s excellence in his or her discipline measured against rigorous standards and assessments, submitted in the form of portfolio and video entries that are evaluated by certified peers. NBPTS, created in 1987, is a by-product of the Carnegie Task Force, which recommended a higher standard for teachers’ competence and ability and identified teachers meeting that standard. Eligibility requirements include a baccalaureate degree in the academic field, a minimum of 3 years of teaching experience, and a valid teaching certificate. Applicants are required to complete four portfolio entries consisting of videotapes of instruction in progress, students’ work samples, and instructional artifacts. Also, a 1-day assessment center exercise focusing on content and professional teaching knowledge is required after portfolio completion. The NBPTS process has both advocates and critics. Advocates claim that completing the NBPTS process will improve a teacher’s ability to plan and deliver instructional lessons, thus having a positive effect on student learning. Critics think the NBPTS process does not improve teaching and learning. They claim that those teachers who do so were superior teachers prior to their completing the process. Evaluating the perceptions of the school leader may yield a quality indicator of the effectiveness of the NBPTS process. In this study, the perceptions of school principals in Alabama regarding the NBPTS process were explored. No such research study had been conducted in Alabama and few had been done in the United States prior to the completion of this one. All principals in Alabama with at least one National Board Certified teacher on staff were given or mailed a survey and asked to rate all of their teachers on research questions related to the five core propositions of the NBPTS. According to the school principals in Alabama, the teachers possessing National Board Certification significantly excelled on all five core propositions when compared to teachers who did not possess National Board Certification. This study will serve as a reference for advocates of the NBPTS process.