In this article, Travis J. Bristol and Joy Esboldt examine the supports and constraints teachers at one midsized urban school serving predominately Latinx students encountered during school-based professional development aligned with becoming a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT). Research has established that Black and Latinx students have less access to NBCTs when compared to White students, yet few studies offer insight into the organizational conditions that influence urban school teachers’ capacity to earn certification. Drawing on two years of ethnographic observations, interviews, and artifact analysis, this study finds that district and school-based factors constrained teachers’ capacity to earn National Board Certification, reporting that participants believed there was a misalignment between the district’s vision for instructional improvement, which focused on Direct Instruction, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

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