Oklahoma’s gains in National Board Certified Teachers announced

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 15-Dec-2010

Arlington, Va. — The national conversation in education arena is expanding  from teacher quality to teacher effectiveness. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), describing itself as “the organization that sets and maintains the standards for teaching excellence,” announced today (Wednesday, December 15) that 225 Oklahoma teachers achieved National Board Certification in 2010.

The state ranked 10th nationwide in the number of new National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) this year and ranks ninth in the total number of NBCTs over time, with 2,820.

Oklahoma teachers who have newly acquired the NBCT designation are in the ranks of more than 8,600 teachers nationwide who achieved the certification this year. The total certified by NBPTS is now more than 91,000. Approximately half of all NBCTs teach in Title I eligible, high-need schools, as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics.

A voluntary assessment program designed to develop, recognize and retain accomplished teachers, National Board Certification is achieved through a performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete. While state licensing systems set basic requirements to teach in each state, NBCTs have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices, according to the national board.

Oklahoma showed an 8.7 percent increase in the total of NBCTs certified. The chart accompanying this story, provided by the National Board, shows the data for five public school districts in the Sooner State.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan specifically singled out the nation’s current class of NBCTs last month during a discussion about elevating the teaching profession. “I just want to say ‘congratulations’ to all of our new National Board Certified Teachers,” said Duncan, in a special video message.

Secretary Duncan continued:

“I know how tough that process is. It’s a tremendous amount of hard work but you are some of the best teachers in the country getting better. I think the example of being a life-long learner, of challenging yourself to continue to improve even when you are already so good, is an amazing example for our students. Congratulations and thanks for the example you set for all of us.”

“At a time when our country is trying to build successful models of whole school transformation, a key determinant of a student’s outcome is a highly-effective teacher. That is why this announcement is so important,” said Joseph A. Aguerrebere, president and chief executive officer, NBPTS. “Like board-certified medical doctors, National Board Certified Teachers have met high standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review.”

National Board Certification is growing as a reform movement:

·       The number of NBCTs has increased by more than 90 percent in the past five years (from over 47,000 in 2005 to more than 91,000 in 2010).

·       States with the highest number of teachers achieving National Board Certification in 2010 were: North Carolina (2,277), Washington (1,272), Illinois (771), South Carolina (498) and California (342).

·       Twenty-two states had at least a 10 percent increase in the number of 2010 NBCTs over the number of teachers who achieved certification in 2009: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

·       State programs that have more than tripled over the past five years are: Arkansas (394 to 1,690), Illinois (1,545 to 4,692), New Mexico (190 to 578), Washington (910 to 5,232) and Wyoming (64 to 314).  Arkansas and Wyoming’s programs more than quadrupled in numbers, while Washington’s numbers increased more than five-fold.

In the most rigorous and comprehensive study to date about National Board Certification, the non-partisan National Research Council found that students taught by NBCTs make higher gains on achievement tests than students taught by other teachers.

“As teacher evaluation systems are becoming a primary focus in education, it is reassuring to know that National Board Certification is a proven solution to the challenges facing our schools and incredibly cost-effective,” said Gov. Bob Wise, chair of the NBPTS Board of Directors and former governor of West Virginia. “What you have in National Board Certified Teachers are change agents. Many of these outstanding teachers are assuming leadership roles in schools and leading reform efforts in their districts and states.”

Wise added, “National Board Certification is changing the culture of learning in classrooms, schools and districts — leveraging National Board Certified Teachers to build human capital — especially in high-need schools.”

NBPTS is bringing to scale its “Take One! Program” (professional development based on a component of National Board Certification) by combining it with its Targeted High Need Initiative .

As a result, cohorts of educators are building school-based learning communities focused on high-need schools. In addition, NBPTS continues to make progress in launching National Board Certification for Educational Leaders and is currently field testing the first phase of this important initiative,National Board Certification for Principals.

According to the national organization, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and hundreds of local school districts recognize National Board Certification as a mark of distinction and a model for identifying accomplished teaching practice. A widely accepted form of pay-for-performance that is supported by teachers and administrators nationwide, approximately two-thirds of the states provide salary incentives and cover the costs for teachers who pursue and/or achieve this advanced credential.

For more information about NBPTS, visit the NBPTS web site at www.nbpts.org.