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.
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 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.
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.
- You must earn a minimum unweighted average score of 1.75 on Component 1, as mentioned.
- You must earn a minimum unweighted score of 1.75 on Components 2 through 4.
- You must earn a total weighted scaled score at or above the performance standard total weighted scale score, that will be determined in 2017 after standard setting.
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:
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.