skip to main content
Washington State Institute for Public Policy
Back Button

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification bonuses

Pre-K to 12 Education
Benefit-cost methods last updated December 2017.  Literature review updated April 2012.
Open PDF
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification is an advanced teaching credential that complements (and does not replace) state certification. Teachers earn NBPTS certification upon completion of a one to three year assessment process. Washington State provides a salary bonus to NBPTS-certified teachers.
The estimates shown are present value, life cycle benefits and costs. All dollars are expressed in the base year chosen for this analysis (2016). The chance the benefits exceed the costs are derived from a Monte Carlo risk analysis. The details on this, as well as the economic discount rates and other relevant parameters are described in our Technical Documentation.
Benefit-Cost Summary Statistics Per Participant
Benefits to:
Taxpayers $910 Benefits minus costs $3,436
Participants $1,889 Benefit to cost ratio $31.61
Others $790 Chance the program will produce
Indirect ($41) benefits greater than the costs 100 %
Total benefits $3,549
Net program cost ($112)
Benefits minus cost $3,436
1In addition to the outcomes measured in the meta-analysis table, WSIPP measures benefits and costs estimated from other outcomes associated with those reported in the evaluation literature. For example, empirical research demonstrates that high school graduation leads to reduced crime. These associated measures provide a more complete picture of the detailed costs and benefits of the program.

2“Others” includes benefits to people other than taxpayers and participants. Depending on the program, it could include reductions in crime victimization, the economic benefits from a more educated workforce, and the benefits from employer-paid health insurance.

3“Indirect benefits” includes estimates of the net changes in the value of a statistical life and net changes in the deadweight costs of taxation.
Detailed Monetary Benefit Estimates Per Participant
Benefits from changes to:1 Benefits to:
Taxpayers Participants Others2 Indirect3 Total
Labor market earnings associated with test scores $880 $1,939 $858 $0 $3,677
Health care associated with educational attainment $53 ($14) ($58) $26 $7
Costs of higher education ($23) ($35) ($10) ($11) ($80)
Adjustment for deadweight cost of program $0 $0 $0 ($56) ($56)
Totals $910 $1,889 $790 ($41) $3,549
Detailed Annual Cost Estimates Per Participant
Annual cost Year dollars Summary
Program costs $111 2015 Present value of net program costs (in 2016 dollars) ($112)
Comparison costs $0 2015 Cost range (+ or -) 10 %
Washington State provided NBPTS-certified teachers with a $5,090 annual bonus in the 2014-15 school year. To calculate a per-student annual cost, we assumed teachers, across all K–12 grade levels, have an average of two classrooms with an average of 25 students per classroom. This cost estimate does not include the additional bonus provided to teachers who work in high-poverty schools or the private costs teachers incur when they apply for and participate in the certification process.
The figures shown are estimates of the costs to implement programs in Washington. The comparison group costs reflect either no treatment or treatment as usual, depending on how effect sizes were calculated in the meta-analysis. The cost range reported above reflects potential variation or uncertainty in the cost estimate; more detail can be found in our Technical Documentation.
Estimated Cumulative Net Benefits Over Time (Non-Discounted Dollars)
The graph above illustrates the estimated cumulative net benefits per-participant for the first fifty years beyond the initial investment in the program. We present these cash flows in non-discounted dollars to simplify the “break-even” point from a budgeting perspective. If the dollars are negative (bars below $0 line), the cumulative benefits do not outweigh the cost of the program up to that point in time. The program breaks even when the dollars reach $0. At this point, the total benefits to participants, taxpayers, and others, are equal to the cost of the program. If the dollars are above $0, the benefits of the program exceed the initial investment.

Meta-analysis is a statistical method to combine the results from separate studies on a program, policy, or topic in order to estimate its effect on an outcome. WSIPP systematically evaluates all credible evaluations we can locate on each topic. The outcomes measured are the types of program impacts that were measured in the research literature (for example, crime or educational attainment). Treatment N represents the total number of individuals or units in the treatment group across the included studies.

An effect size (ES) is a standard metric that summarizes the degree to which a program or policy affects a measured outcome. If the effect size is positive, the outcome increases. If the effect size is negative, the outcome decreases.

Adjusted effect sizes are used to calculate the benefits from our benefit cost model. WSIPP may adjust effect sizes based on methodological characteristics of the study. For example, we may adjust effect sizes when a study has a weak research design or when the program developer is involved in the research. The magnitude of these adjustments varies depending on the topic area.

WSIPP may also adjust the second ES measurement. Research shows the magnitude of some effect sizes decrease over time. For those effect sizes, we estimate outcome-based adjustments which we apply between the first time ES is estimated and the second time ES is estimated. We also report the unadjusted effect size to show the effect sizes before any adjustments have been made. More details about these adjustments can be found in our Technical Documentation.

Meta-Analysis of Program Effects
Outcomes measured Treatment Age No. of effect sizes Treatment N Adjusted effect sizes (ES) and standard errors (SE) used in the benefit-cost analysis Unadjusted effect size (random effects model)
First time ES is estimated Second time ES is estimated
ES SE Age ES SE Age ES p-value
Test scores 10 14 387957 0.031 0.005 11 0.022 0.005 17 0.032 0.001

Citations Used in the Meta-Analysis

Cantrell, S., Fullerton, J., Kane, T.J., & Staiger, D.O. (2008). National board certification and teacher effectiveness: Evidence from a random assignment experiment (Working Paper No. 14608). Cambridge: NBER.

Cavalluzzo, L.C. (2004). Is national board certification an effective signal of teacher quality? Alexandria, VA: The CNA Corporation.

Chingos, M.M., & Peterson, P.E. (2011). It's easier to pick a good teacher than to train one: Familiar and new results on the correlates of teacher effectiveness. Economics of Education Review, 30(3), 449-465

Clotfelter, C.T., Ladd, H.F., & Vigdor, J.L. (2006). Teacher-student matching and the assessment of teacher effectiveness. The Journal of Human Resources, 41(4), 778-820.

Clotfelter, C.T., Ladd, H.F., & Vigdor, J.L. (2007). Teacher credentials and student achievement: Longitudinal analysis with student fixed effects. Economics of Education Review, 26(6), 673-682.

Clotfelter, C.T., Ladd, H.F., & Vigdor, J.L. (2010). Teacher credentials and student achievement in high school: A cross-subject analysis with student fixed effects. Journal of Human Resources, 45(3), 655-681.

Goldhaber, D., & Anthony, E. (2007). Can teacher quality be effectively assessed? National board certification as a signal of effective teaching. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 89(1), 134-150.

Harris, D.N., & Sass, T.R. (2009). The effects of NBPTS-certified teachers on student achievement. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 28(1), 55-80.

Ladd, H.F., Sass, T.R., & Harris, D.N. (2007). The impact of National Board Certified teachers on student achievement in Florida and North Carolina: A summary of the evidence. Prepared for the National Academies Committee on the evaluation of the impact of teacher certification by NBPTS. Unpublished manuscript.

Sanders, W.L., Ashton, J.J., Wright, S.P. (2005). Comparison of the effects of NBPTS certified teachers with other teachers on the rate of student academic progress (Final report). Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED491846)

Stronge, J.H., Ward, T.J., Tucker, P.D., Hindman, J.L., McColsky, W., & Howard, B. (2007). National Board certified teachers and non-national board certified teachers: Is there a difference in teacher effectiveness and student achievement? Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 20(3-4), 185-210.

Vandevoort, L.G., Amrein-Beardsley, A., & Berliner, D.C. (2004). National Board Certified teachers and their students' achievement. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 12(46).