THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. and ARLINGTON, Va., March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) and the Amgen Foundation today announced a grant to improve highly-effective science teaching and learning in schools across the country. The Amgen Foundation is committing $1.5 million over three years to support science teachers who choose to obtain National Board Certification, the most prestigious credential in the teaching profession.
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, National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices.
Starting this year, the grant will provide certification fee support for over 500 science teachers in the following locations: Ventura County and San Francisco Bay Area in California; counties along Colorado's Front Range; Jefferson County in Kentucky; Middlesex and Suffolk Counties in Massachusetts; Puerto Rico; Rhode Island; and King and South Snohomish Counties in Washington. In addition, the grant will support the development of two new online professional development courses to improve science teaching for middle school and high school teachers across the entire country.
"The Amgen Foundation is committed to deepening scientific literacy and providing meaningful professional development opportunities for teachers," said Jean Lim Terra, president, Amgen Foundation. "We want to encourage teachers to strive to be the best in their fields through National Board Certification, ensuring high quality education for their students."
The Amgen Foundation grant will also create a science teaching resource center in Ventura County, where Amgen is headquartered, to support National Board Certification candidates and teachers who participate in Take One!, a professional development offering based on the National Board Certification process. The agreement will also provide support for teachers seeking National Board Certification and participating in Take One! at two high schools (Manual Arts, West Adams Prep) operated by MLA Partner Schools in South Los Angeles.
"As we continue our work to improve student learning and student achievement, this generous grant will encourage more science teachers to reach the highest standard in their instructional practice by seeking National Board Certification," said Joseph A. Aguerrebere, NBPTS president and chief executive officer. "This grant exemplifies the continuing support for National Board programs from the business community and why it is important to invest in this proven solution to the challenges facing our schools."
In December 2010, more than 8,600 teachers and school counselors achieved National Board Certification, bringing the total number of educators certified by NBPTS to more than 91,000.
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.
About the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
NBPTS, an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan and nongovernmental organization, is an integral part of America's growing education reform movement. In developing, recognizing and retaining accomplished educators, NBPTS provides advanced standards, assessments and professional development resources to support educators at all stages of their professional growth; links subject-matter knowledge and effective teaching practices to student learning and achievement; and helps build and support school-based professional learning communities. Today, more than 91,000 National Board Certified Teachers are making a positive difference in the lives of students across
the nation. For more information, visit www.nbpts.org.
About the Amgen Foundation
The Amgen Foundation (www.amgen.com/citizenship/overview.html) seeks to advance science education; improve patient access to quality care; and strengthen the communities where Amgen staff members live and work. Since 1991, the Foundation has made $160 million in grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Europe that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways, and those that provide disaster relief efforts both domestically and internationally.