Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


Center for Leadership & Learning


College of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Wayne Williams

Second Committee Member

Dr. John Freeman

Third Committee Member

Dr. Bobby Altom

Program Director

Dr. John Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Jeffrey Robertson


Of the many studies related to the effectiveness of National Board Certified teachers, there were none found that related to Arkansas teachers. This research study investigated the impact that Nationally Board Certified teachers (NBCTs) had on the achievement of third graders in the Pulaski County Special District (PCSSD). Achievement was operationally defined as scores in the content areas of reading and mathematics as measured by the ACT Aspire standardized test. This study was designed to generate data related to the effectiveness of NBCTs in meeting the academic needs of all students. In addition, the purpose of this study was to determine if the instruction of NBCTs met the academic needs of African American students as a means of reducing the present achievement gap. Statistics from 2018 showed that Arkansas ranks 11th in the nation with 3,907 NBCTs and 726 candidates currently pursuing certification (National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, n.d.). Currently, NBCTs in Arkansas receive an annual bonus ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, depending on the socioeconomic status of their school district and school. In addition to the state’s bonus, the PCSSD’s board policy allows for an additional annual $3,000 dollar bonus for board certified teachers. With over 200 board certified teachers in the PCSSD and twenty-eight in the process, this is a substantial cost to the district. A number of studies referenced in the literature review concluded that National Board Certification was connected to increased student achievement, and many noted National Board Certification was an indicator of quality teaching (Cantrell et al., 2008; Cavalluzzo, 2004: Goldhaber & Anthony, 2003; Harris & Sass, 2009; Vandevoort, Beardsley, & Berliner, 2004). There were also studies that refuted the impact of NBCT on student achievement (Cantrell, Fullerton, Kane, & Staiger, 2008; Sanders, Ashton, & Wright, 2005). The results of the data analysis revealed third grade students of non-NBCTs scored significantly higher than third grade students of NBC teachers in both reading and math on the spring 2018 ACT Aspire assessment.