Kentucky ranks seventh in national teacher certfication

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) ranked Kentucky seventh place on the number of teachers earning National Board Certification in 2012.
According to the NBTPS, the teaching board is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan and nongovernmental organization. Formed in 1987, the organization is aimed at advancing the quality of teaching and creating concrete standards for education. The organization also sets to help increase educational reform efforts by certifying teachers who meet those standards.

Nationwide, 4,980 teachers were awarded with the certification, 268 of them were from Kentucky. Since the organization began, 102,237 teachers have been certified and Kentucky was ranked ninth in the country for the total overall teachers having earned the certification.

The teachers have to go through a performance-based process. The certifications assesses a teacher’s ability through evaluations, self-assessment, peer reviews and studies. Teachers build portfolios that include student work and a thorough analysis of their teaching and are assessed on their knowledge of a specific subject.

The top 10 states with the highest number of certified teachers for 2012 where North Carolina, Washington, Illinois, California, Arkansas, South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland and New York.

Renee Campoy, assistant dean of the college of education, said the certification was created to acknowledge the best teachers in the profession.

“National Board Certification for classroom teachers is a highly rigorous and competitive process to develop high levels of skills in content knowledge, instruction and student assessment,” she said. “Half of the test takers in a given session fail the endpoint exam.  This process was developed as a way to elevate the professionalism of teacher and give them recognition for accomplishments that would enhance their classroom skills.”

Campoy said the certification is independent of state and federal regulations and states often reward or recognize those who are certified. She said school districts in Kentucky award the certified teachers and additional $2,000 per year on their set salary. The certification process is expensive but the state does pay for some of the fees.

The NBC has been incorporated in some universities’ graduate programs to help further participation in the certification project. Campoy said although, Murray State has not done this, it has been discussed. She said teacher preparation programs at universities have an ambulant program with the NBC.

The program is voluntary and participation of the teachers is up to them or the schools they represent. Once a teacher completes the National Board process, the state’s teachers that hold a Rank II certificate are able to apply for Rank I (the highest rank status in the state) and serve as mentors for future National Board candidates.

The National Board certification is open to all teachers who have a bachelor’s degree and three years of classroom experience in a school. State candidates are able to receive scholarship to help cover certification expenses.

Said Campoy: “I do think that NBC is respected and recognized by teacher educators as an important achievement for teachers. Classroom teachers that I know with NBC include Holly Bloodworth at Murray Elementary, Sarah Loveless at Calloway High School, and Beth Stribling at Murray Middle School. These teachers are outstanding and recognized by the school and university communities as leaders and exceptional teachers.”

Samantha Villanueva, Staff writer