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National Board Certification By Heather Borman What is the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards? •National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan and nongovernmental organization •It was formed to advance the quality of teaching and learning by developing professional standards for accomplished teaching, creating a voluntary system to certify teachers who meet those standards and integrating certified teachers into educational reform efforts •The mission of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is to advance the quality of teaching and learning by •Maintaining high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do •Providing a national voluntary system certifying teachers who meet these standards •Advocating related education reforms to integrate National Board Certification in American education and to capitalize on the expertise of National Board Certified Teachers History •Albert Shanker, president of the American Federation of Teacher, made the first major call for the establishment of a national teacher standards and evaluation board in 1985 when he said, “It would be a group that would spend a period of time studying exactly what a teacher should know before becoming certified and the best way to measure that knowledge...Over a period of time, I would hope the board would eventually be controlled by the profession itself, even if it didn’t start completely that way.” •The Carnegie Corporation of New York funded the establishment of NBPTS following the recommendations of the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy’s Task Force on Teaching as a Profession •The task force’s final report — A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century — released on May 15, 1986, calling for the creation of a board to “define what teachers should know and be able to do” and “support the creation of rigorous, valid assessments to see that certified teachers do meet those standards” •A planning group, later to evolve into the NBPTS Board of Directors, made crucial decisions about the direction and structure of the new organization and formed the group in 1987 •Chaired by former North Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt, Jr., the group stipulated that the majority of its board members would be teachers currently active in the classroom •Later in 1987, NBPTS made a promise to the nation’s teachers and citizens to raise the standard for quality teaching in America •Today, virtually every state and more than 25 percent of all school districts offer financial rewards or incentives for teachers seeking National Board Certification •The number of NBCTs has now grown to nearly 50,000 and NBPTS continues to build upon its ground- breaking work by developing new means of encouraging widespread adoption of accomplished teaching standards and by supporting the expanded use of NBCTs in leadership roles in education Applying for National Teacher Certification •Requirements before applying •Hold a Bachelors degree •Have completed three full years of teaching/counseling experience •Possess a valid state teaching/counseling license for that period of time, or, if teaching where a license is not required, have taught in schools recognized and approved to operate by the state •Demonstrate Your Teaching Practice •Submit four portfolio entries, three of which demonstrate classroom accomplishment with video footage and examples of student work and one which demonstrates your accomplishments outside the classroom •Must demonstrate content knowledge by completing six content based exercises in the certification area of the applicant •Fees •$65 non-refundable application processing charge •$500 non-refundable initial fee •$2500 assessment fee What does it means to be nationally board certified? •National board certification is the highest symbol of professional teaching excellence, demonstrating the fact that you have been judged by your peer and successfully completed certification assessment •It recognizes both you and your students’ accomplishments •“The process caused me to reflect on how I could raise the level of rigor while increasing student achievement across the board.” -Adam Kinory, NBCT •It strengthens and reaffirms teaching strategies •“It really allowed me to search within and question my practice. I know why I do things in the classroom, but to put it on paper for others meant that I had to do a lot more for self-reflection.” -Rodney Boone, NBCT •It adds credibility to the teaching profession •“For the first time in my life, I feel like a true professional. I can hold my head up proudly and be glad about working in the education professional.” -Charles Bennerman, NBCT •It represents the profession’s highest standards •“I viewed NBC as a mountain I wanted to climb. It is the highest achievement in our profession and I wanted to meet that challenge.” -Michelle Walton, NBCT •It positively impacts student learning •“When my daughter had Sharon Parker (NBCT) as a teacher she improved as a student. Her intensity increased, her expectations for herself increased and I saw my daughter work harder than she had for other teachers.” -Bill LeGrand, Parent The Five Core Propositions Characteristics of National Board Certified Teachers Preposition 1: Teachers are committed to students and learning Preposition 2: Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students Preposition 3: Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning Preposition 4: Teachers thing systematically about their practice and learn from experience Preposition 5: Teachers are member of learning communities State Statistics •Indiana has 126 National Board Certified Teachers •Evansville does not have any NBCTs •Diane Pike, a Kindergarten teacher received her certification in November 2004 and teaches at Centralized Kindergarten North in the Lawrence County District •This program has 350 students that have a choice of three different kindergarten programs, full day, alternative day, or half day •Students graduate from Kindergarten and then enter one of the eleven elementary schools in the district •She wrote an article in the Indiana Principal Leadership Academy about her journey to become board certified and the amount of work it took her •She writes, “This is an accomplishment I will always cherish.” Pros Pros (from www.nbpts.org and article “New Study to Affirm Value of National Teacher Certification”) •Student achievement gains, according to School Reform News •Teacher who did not apply for NBPTS certification had student achievement gains of 9.75 points per year in math and 5.69 in reading •Teachers who applied but were unsuccessful showed gains of 9.14 in math and 5.83 in reading •Teachers who won NBPTS approval showed gains of 10.21 in math and 6.18 in reading •Teachers gain recognition for their accomplishments and feel more professional •Most states offer pay raises or annual bonuses for certification, such as North Carolina, which offers a 12 percent premium above the base salary scale that usually results to about 4000 dollars a year according to School Reform News •Teachers who win the certification appear to be more effective than non-certified colleagues •Teachers receive certification for the highest levels of expertise Cons Cons (from articles “National Board Certification for Teachers: A Billion Dollar Hoax” and “National Teacher Certification Labeled a Hoax” •By October 2003, the nation had spent 315.5 million dollars on the venture of National Board Certification, according to the NBPTS •In addition, states and school districts have spent millions of dollars as well to fund pay raises and bonuses, such as Florida, which spent 69 million dollars •Experts estimate over a billion dollars will be spent within a few years on the national level based on the current number of NBCT and the current rate of spending •Core prepositions do not define a teacher of superior quality, but rather define simple standards every teacher should meet before being licensed to teach •Thirunarayanan writes, “Teachers should not be licensed to teach unless they demonstrate…the core propositions.” •Assessment exercises only require teachers to know as much content as some of their more advanced students, according to the article in Teacher College Record titled “National Board Certification for Teachers: A Billion Dollar Hoax” •Applicants can falsify their portfolio according to a fifth grade teacher in North Carolina who has reports that teachers filmed students outside of class and rewarded them for acting appropriately on film •To sum it up, Thirunarayanan writes, “How much should a nation spend on mediocrity?” INTASC Principles and Knowledge Bases •INTASC Principles •Principle 2-Knowledge of Human Development and Learning •Principle 3-Adapting Instruction for Individual Needs •Principle 10-Partnerships •Reflexive Teacher Model •Knowledge of Students and Schools Conclusion Before this project, I had no idea what National Board Certification was or what it entailed. Once I began my research I learned that most advocates are against the certification and feel that the small student achievement is not worth the large amount of money the federal, state, and local governments award. I had no experiences to speak of and it never affected my educational experience. I believe that if my schools would have had National Board Certified Teachers, we might have seen a higher level of teaching, but I believe that it truly would not have had much effect. I have to agree with Mr. Thurynarayanan that the cost does not justify the rewards. The prerequisites for applying also do not seem to do the certification justice. I do not think that a bachelors degree and three years of teaching experience qualify a person to receive such a reward of excellence. I think that evidence of continuing education such as a masters degree should be required and that more teaching experience should also be a factor. If teachers are given the highest award of excellence a teacher can receive, then they should have to demonstrate extraordinary potential, not just entry-level standards. They should also have to spend a good part of their lives receiving the epitome of their profession. Refined qualifications for National Board Certification •An earned doctorate in their areas of expertise •Five years of classroom teaching experience •Evidence of developing innovative ways of teaching, learning, and assessment •Evidence of significantly higher student achievement •Publication of scholarly papers and/or books •Good performance on rigorous content exams Bibliography Clowes, George A. (2004). National Teacher Certification Labeled a Hoax. “The Heartland Institute: School Reform News”. Retrieved October 13, 2006 from http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=14653&CFID=10838013&CFTOKEN=97263165 Holland, Robert. (2004). New Study First to Affirm Value of National Teacher Certification. “The Heartland Institute: School Reform News”. Retrieved October 13, 2006, from http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=14800&CFID=10838013&CFTOKEN=97263165 Kindergarten North. Retrieved October 13, 2006, from https://cknorth.ltschools.org/about/ National Board for Professional Standards. (2004). Retrieved October 13, 2006, from http://www.tcrecord.org/content.asp?contentid=11266 Pike, Diane. (September 2006). National Board Certification…the REAL Story. Indiana Principal Leadership Academy. Retrieved October 13, 2006, from http://www.doe.state.in.us/super/2006/09- September/090806/IPLA_SE_Sept06.pdf Thurunarayanan, M. O. (2004). National Board Certification for Teachers: A Billion Dollar Hoax. “Teacher College Record”. Retrieved October 13, 2006,, from http://www.tcrecord.org/content.asp?contentid=11266
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