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On Monday, January 25, the NU National Board Leadership Center will host a Renewal Candidate training webinar for its NBCT-EDGE Alliance members. The webinar is designed to provide guidance and support for National Board candidates who are planning to renewal their National Board Certification. The session will take place on Monday, January 25, at 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern, and is open to all NBCT-EDGE Alliance members. Members who are unable to attend the live session can access the webinar on demand through our Haiku virtual support environment. Register for the event HERE.
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On Tuesday, January 19, the NU National Board Leadership Center will host a Component Two training webinar for its NBCT-EDGE Alliance webinars. The webinar is designed to provide guidance and support for National Board candidates who are planning to complete Component Two for this year's cycle. The session will explore strategies for tackling the component effectively, including planning for and executing the various elements while ensuring alignment to the standards. The session will take place on Tuesday, January 19, at 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern, and is open to all NBCT-EDGE Alliance members. Members who are unable to attend the live session can access the webinar on demand through our Haiku virtual support environment. Register for the event HERE.
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Join an Online Information Meeting about our one-of-a-kind Master of Arts in Teaching degree program with a National Board Specialization that supports you through the certification process as you attain your degree. Learn about the National Board tools and processes and how the coursework integrates and helps you accomplish two important goals simultaneously so that you work smarter, not harder!
The webinar takes place this Tuesday, January 12, at 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern, and is also available on demand. Click HERE to register.
By Joanna Murray, NBCT
National University P20 Leadership Center Program Ambassador
For more information on obtaining National Board Certification support through our center, be sure to visit www.nbctwave.org and attend our support Webinars which includes information toward earning a Master’s with NBC as a component of the relevant coursework, or a doctoral degree with fee and time reduction.
This may be the time of year for holiday cheer and the bustle of the season for most, but this time of year also brings something that our National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) community is well aware of; the release of the NB (National Board) scores for current candidates. The 2014-15 cycle, which is the cycle for these candidates, marks the first year that the revamp of the assessment has been in place, and thus a change in the way that National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) assessments are scored. What makes this even more remarkable is that the new roll outs are still in progress, and therefore, candidates cannot complete the entire assessment until the 2016-17 assessment year.
As one of the four Program Ambassadors for the National University P20 Leadership Center, one of my responsibilities is to ensure candidates are supported through their assessment journey. In addition to providing ongoing support in the form of synchronous and asynchronous support sessions, we also link candidates with support providers, who volunteer in a “pay-it-forward” model, whenever possible. As might be imagined, after scores were released this month, several mentors began reaching out to seek help in unraveling candidate Score Report results. This blog post, therefore, is an attempt to help my fellow NBCT mentors, and candidates, to interpret the Score Report sent out by the NBPTS for the 2014-2015 cycle.
In mid-December, candidates who submitted in the 2014-2015 cycle received a three page mailing from the NBPTS. The first page is a letter written by the newly elected President and CEO, Peggy Brookins. The letter contains a brief overview of the process, as well as a brief interpretation of the changes. As the letter briefly explains, assessors who scored the submissions in the 2014-2015 cycle evaluated the Components through the lens of the rubrics, which are derived from the specific National Board Certification Standards. All candidates are eventually required to complete all four components of the process. As mentioned, the final rollout of the restructured assessment will not be finalized until 2017, so 2014-15 candidates had only the option of completing Component 1 or 2, or could choose to attempt both of those components in that single cycle. Component 3 came on line during the 2015-16 cycle, and Component 4 will be available at the final stage of the rollout, being the 2016-2017 cycle.
Page two and three of the letter is the actual Score Report. Looking at the report of a candidate who attempted Generalist-Middle Childhood, the report includes three sections.
In looking at the first section of the Score Report, the reason that N/A is written as Your Score, and Met Minimum Requirement, is because a valid score is not available for the fact that all of the Components can not be attempted by candidates until the complete rollout in the 2016-2017 cycle.
Interpreting the Scores
The next section of the Score Report focuses on Component 1: Content Knowledge. We can see, from the image below, that Component 1 is broken down into four scorable sections. Exercise 1-3 reference the scores of the three Constructed Responses each candidate is required to complete. The Selected Response Items score is the last scored item for Component 1.
To Interpret the scores for Component 1, and all Components, the NBPTS created a document entitled Scoring Guide: Understanding Your Scores found in the Candidate Support tools.
To interpret the Selected Response Item scores for Component 1, each item is machine scored and one point is awarded for each correct response, zero points if the item was incorrect.
A conversion table is then used to correspond to the Rubric Levels (see rubric chart above, but note that page 17-18 of Scoring Guide: Understanding Your Scores fully defines the Quality of Evidence criteria). Answering all items correctly results in a score of 4.250, which correlates to a rubric score of Level 4, for example.
To interpret the Constructed Response Items scores for Component 1, assessors use a 12-point score based on the four-point rubric (referenced above), and embedded in the Certificate Standards, and Instructions). Again, the highest assigned score for a constructed response item is 4.25.
Interpreting the scores for the other three Components is similar to Component 1 in that assessors use the same Rubric. Candidates are required to obtain a minimum average score on all portions of the assessment. The NBPTS defines a minimum average score as a Level 2 score, worded as meeting limited evidence and has a numerical value of 1.75 on the rubric. The Required Minimum Score report below, shows, for example, the Assessment Center Section Average Score for a candidate who attempted certification for Science-Ages 11-15. Under the section Your Score, one can see the score as 1.411. In the next column, Met Minimum Requirement? the box contains the word “No”, because the minimum requirement is 1.75. This candidate did not, therefore, pass Component 1, on this attempt.
Meeting the minimum average score on both the assessment center section and the portfolio section does not, however, ensure that a candidate will meet the overall standard score required for certification. Instead, there are three score requirements to meet in order to achieve certification:
While the total minimum score is yet to be determined by the NBPTS, the following chart, included on page 8 of the Scoring Guide: Understanding Your Scores provides a visual of the assessment weights for each Component:
We can see that while Component 1(the assessment center section), makes up 40% of the total weighted score, Component 2-4 (the portfolio sections) combined, make up the other 60% of the assessment.
Getting back to the original intent of writing this blog, above is the last of the three sections included on page two of the score report sent to me by the mentor who requested help interpreting scores for a candidate she volunteered to support during the 2014-2015 cycle. While this particular candidate has an N/A score under the Required Minimum Score section because all sections of the assessment have not been completed, and a score of N/A on the Your Score for Component 1 because she chose not to attempt that section during that cycle, this candidate did attempt Component 2: Differentiation in Instruction, and received a score of 3.000. If we look back to the rubric, we can see that this corresponds to a Level 3 score, a Clear. To understand the rubric indicators, one might take the time to review the performance characteristics charts located in the , Scoring Guide: Understanding Your Scores and referenced earlier.
Neither the candidate, nor her mentor, could tell by the Score Report whether or not the candidate had “passed.” The short answer is that the candidate has not certified, for the fact that only one portion, Component 2, has been attempted, thus far. However, now that we have learned that the minimum score requirement for passing each component is 1.75, as identified by the rubric, we know that this candidate will not have to retake Component 2; that he or she met the requirements due to obtainment of a score of 3.00. During the current 2015-2016 cycle, this candidate may attempt either Component 1, or Component 3, or both, but must wait until the 2016-2017 cycle to attempt all components toward becoming a National Board Certified Teacher.
There is one more page included in the letter sent by President Brookins and her team from NBPTS. That short bit of text serves as a reminder for candidates to reference the same Scoring Guide: Understanding Your Scores that has been mentioned several times throughout this blog post. Page three also reminds candidates that the guide can be found by going to www.boardcertifiedteachers.org. There, candidates can also find detailed information for what to do if they did not meet the minimum required 1.75 rubric score for Component 1, 2, or both. Also included is a Score Calculator that allows for candidates to input score values to determine how new scores would affect choices in next steps.
One last question that our volunteer mentor and her candidate had revolved around the wording in the Feedback Statements (see above) section of the Score Report. Page three of the letter from the NBPTS team explains that if a score was less than 3.75 on a given portfolio entry, the report would include standardized feedback tailored to the candidate’s individual performance. The Scoring Guide: Understanding Your Scores lists all of these statements by rubric level. While it is clear, based on the candidate’s score for Component 2 of 3.000, my advice to this candidate, and their mentor, based on the Feedback Statements, and her score, would be for them to go back to the Level 3 rubric for Component 2, and look at all of the feedback statements, and use those as advice for the work they will do toward completing Component 3. For all candidates, we advise for you to continue to engage with the tools of the NPBTS: the standards, rubric, portfolio instructions, and The Architecture for Accomplished Teaching found on the www.boardcertifiedteachers.org. We further invite you to attend our Professional Support Workshops whether you are a current candidate, a renewal candidate, a mentor, or just curious! All are welcome!