National Board Certification represents one of the most significant reform efforts in the area of teacher quality in the last two decades. Since the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certified its first round of teachers in 1995, approximately 24,000 teachers have become certified at a cost to the country of well over $200 million, yet no large-scale quantitative research exists on the candidates of the program and their effectiveness in educating children. Since 1995, we have seen significant growth in NBPTS application and certification rates. In this paper, we describe the results of a study of teachers in North Carolina assessing the factors associated with the decision to apply to NBPTS and the factors associated with successful certification. We find that with all else equal, those teachers who are African-American, and/or female, score higher on standardized tests or are younger are more likely to apply for certification. With respect to NBPTS certification, we find that African-American and male teachers are less likely to be certified. Finally, we find that teachers who score higher on standardized tests are more likely to be certified.
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