Washington Second in New National Board Certified Teachers
OLYMPIA — December 15, 2010 — Washington state continues to place near the top of the country in National Board Certified teachers, according to numbers released today.
The numbers, released by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, show that Washington has the second-most new NBCTs (1,272), behind only North Carolina, and is fourth overall in the total number of NBCTs (5,247).
In addition, three districts in the state ranked in the top 20 nationally in new NBCTs. Seattle ranked 6th nationally (71 new NBCTs), while Evergreen ranked 14th (56) and Bellevue 20th (49).
“We’re very proud of our National Board program,” said Randy Dorn, state superintendent of public instruction. “Each year we increase our number of Board-certified teachers. That’s not an accident. My staff has done a great job in promoting and supporting the program. They understand that NBCTs are quality teachers, and that that quality filters throughout a school and a district.”
In 2007, the state Legislature passed a bill that awards a $5,000 bonus to each NBCT. Teachers can receive an additional $5,000 bonus if they teach in “challenging” schools, which are defined as having a certain percentage of students qualify for free and reduced-price lunch (50 percent for high schools, 60 percent for middle schools and 70 percent for elementary schools).
About 24 percent of new Washington NBCTs teach in challenging schools, compared to 23 percent for all NBCTs through 2008.
The success of the NBCT program can also be viewed in terms of concentration. A total of 115 of the state’s 295 districts now have at least five NBCTs, 86 districts have at least 10 NBCTs, 51 have at least 20 NBCTs and 25 have more than 50 NBCTs.
A joint effort led by Gov. Chris Gregoire, the Washington Education Association, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession, as well as to broad bipartisan support in the state Legislature, has led to a rapid increase in NBCTs.
"I want to extend my congratulations to these accomplished teachers," Gregoire said. "Their commitment to excellence and their ability to complete this rigorous process has led to this recognition by their peers. It is particularly exciting to see the increase of certified teachers in those schools with a large number of struggling students."
Mary Lindquist, president of the Washington Education Association, said that students stand to benefit the most from the increase in NBCTs. “National Board Certification improves the quality of teaching and student learning,” she said. “We commend the many educators who have undertaken this powerful, professional experience, and we are proud of the support our union provides them throughout the process.”
National Board certification requires teachers to submit a four-part portfolio and a six-exercise content and pedagogy assessment. The 10 entries document a teacher’s success in the classroom as evidenced by his or her students’ learning. The portfolio is then assessed by a national panel of peers.
“What made the National Board Certification process invaluable was the chance it gave me to really focus on what mattered in my instruction,” said Jay Meabori, the 2010 Washington state Teacher of the Year. “Without this process, I wouldn't have the certainty of knowing that my practice has been refined by the critical questions the National Board asks me to consider.
“The bottom line is student learning, and by becoming a National Board Certified Teacher, I answered the questions that have caused me to make the greatest single improvements in my effectiveness as a teacher.”
Susan Johnson, the 2008 Washington state Teacher of the Year and 2010 NBCT, noted how the certification changed her professional outlook. “The process supported me to critically analyze my practice not only in the classroom, but also beyond – with colleagues, parents, and community members,” she said.
Created in 1987, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit organization devoted to advancing the quality of teaching and learning.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine Educational Service Districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual preference/orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.
OSPI Communications Manager
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Washington state National Board certified teachers, by year:
Washington by the numbers:
Total number of National Board Certified Teachers: 5,247
(National Rank: 4th)
Number of new board certified teachers in 2008: 1,272
(National Rank: 2nd, behind N.C.)
24.2% (1,272 out of 5,247) of all NBCTs teach in “challenging schools”
38 counties (out of 39) have at least one teacher with National Board certification.
7 districts have their first NBCTs this year.