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Washington Tops Nation Again in New Board-Certified Teachers

OLYMPIA — December 2, 2014 — For the second consecutive year, Washington has the largest group of new National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs), according to numbers released today by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

A total of 946 Washington teachers achieved their certification this year, which nearly doubles last year’s first-place ranking of 516 new NBCTs. That maintains the state’s fourth-place, nationwide, in the total number of NBCTs (8,285).

“The National Board certification process promotes teacher leadership,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “The commitment these teachers have made to their profession is an integral part of raising the quality of teaching in Washington and making a difference students can feel in the classroom.”

Washington by the numbers

  • Number of new NBCTs in 2014: 946 (national rank: 1st)
  • Total number of NBCTs: 8,285 (national rank: 4th)
  • Washington has twelve of the top 30 school districts in the nation for new NBCTs.
  • 34.2% (324) of new NBCTs teach in “challenging schools.”
  • 14% of teachers are NBCTs.
  • 45% of new NBCTs teach in STEM fields
  • Six schools have 30 or more NBCTS: Tahoma Senior High School (Tahoma), Interlake Senior High School (Bellevue), Mariner High School (Mukilteo), Newport Senior High School (Bellevue), Mount Vernon High School (Mount Vernon), Sammamish Senior High School (Bellevue).

Washington’s investment in the National Board program is critical to its success. The state’s conditional loan program helps candidates pay for the cost of certification. Loans are repaid using the bonuses teachers earn after becoming certified. Half of these new NBCTs participated in the loan program and will pay back $506,000 into the revolving fund so that money can be made available to new candidates.

A joint effort led by the Office of the Governor, 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 in Washington.

Gov. Jay Inslee acknowledged the dedication of the new NBCTs. “Congratulations to all of this year’s newly certified teachers,” Inslee said. “Washington’s National Board Certified Teachers are doing outstanding work in some of our highest need schools and in STEM, and have really set the standard for what outstanding teaching looks like.”

Top 10 school districts* in Washington with new NBCTs

  • Seattle (77)
  • Spokane (51)
  • Bellevue (48)
  • Evergreen (46)
  • Kent (36)
  • Issaquah (31)
  • Lake Washington (30)
  • Federal Way (26)
  • Bellingham (25)
  • Highline (22)

* These districts rank nationally in the top 30 districts with new NBCTs.

“The number of new National Board Certified Teachers in Washington highlights our commitment to quality public education and the success of every child. We are proud to provide the resources and support our teachers need to be successful,” said Kim Mead, president of the Washington Education Association (WEA). “Congratulations to everyone who participated in this very difficult process.”

Washington’s new NBCTs, by year:


Board certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards 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.

“NBCTs are accomplished teachers who have demonstrated their outstanding work in the classroom and through contribution and dedication to the profession,” said Nasue Nishida, executive director at the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession. “Growing and reflecting on their practice for the educational benefit of K–12 students is what the National Board experience is all about.”

In 2007, the state Legislature passed a bill that awards a $5,000 bonus to each NBCT. Teachers can receive up to 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).

For more information


About OSPI
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 provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Kristen Jaudon
Communications Specialist
360.725.6032 (o) | 360.481.9099 (c)

Rich Wood
Communications Organizer
Washington Education Association | 253-765-7042

Nasue Nishida
Executive Director
Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession | 360-350-2930

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 12/3/2014

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