Teacher Effectiveness Makes Critical Gain with Announcement of 2010 Class of National Board Certified Teachers

Dec 15, 2010, 05:00 ET from National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

No. of teachers achieving National Board Certification increases to more than 91,000

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the conversation in the education arena expands from teacher quality to teacher effectiveness, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), the organization that sets and maintains the standards for teaching excellence, is pleased to announce that more than 8,600 teachers and school counselors achieved National Board Certification in 2010.

Today's announcement brings the total number of accomplished educators certified by NBPTS to more than 91,000. Approximately half of all National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) teach in Title I eligible, high-need schools, as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics.

States and districts throughout the country are using system-wide collaborations to transform teaching and learning through NBPTS programs and NBCTs. For example, Maryland's Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), which consistently ranks in the nation's top 20 districts in terms of teachers becoming National Board certified, successfully implements National Board Certification to advance effective teaching. As stated in a report showcasing how the school system leverages this program, the district has adopted the NBPTS Five Core Propositions as the basis for its teacher performance standards. The district also regularly places NBCTs in a variety of leadership roles, including staff development and peer counseling.  

"(National Board Certification) is priceless from our point of view," said Jerry Weast, superintendent, MCPS, during a briefing hosted by NBPTS earlier this year. "It has kept our community's support, it has engaged our teachers, it has made a difference and it has made us what we are today." MCPS is a 2010 Broad Prize finalist and Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient.

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 video message. "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."

NBPTS was recently awarded a five-year, $27 million Teacher Incentive Fund grant to build teacher and leadership capacity in high-need schools in Richmond, Va. and in Maine. In addition, eight of the 10 Race to the Top round two applications referenced National Board programs in their proposals.  

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.

Further evidence that National Board Certification is growing as an education reform movement:

  • The number of NBCTs has increased by more than 90 percent in the past five years (from more than 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, chairman 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. 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."

"All great organizations––in the public or private sectors––want talented professionals who continue to strive for excellence," said Penny Pritzker, chairman of The Chicago Public Education Fund, which has spearheaded National Board Certification in Chicago, making it the leading urban school system in the growth of National Board Certified Teachers. "At a time when we are asking so much of our students, it is great to see so many of our teachers lead by example and achieve National Board Certification."

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 Principals.  

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.

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.

SOURCE National Board for Professional Teaching Standards