Lotsa Nationally Certified Teachers -- Do I Care?

I have to say, I'm not all that into the whole NBCT thing. Is that bad? I mean, I get that it takes a lot of work to get through the process, and that not everyone succeeds. I'm not taking anything away from anyone individually. But as a policy initiative, I'm not so sure so sure it's what I would spend my money on. It seems like it's really expensive on an individual basis. And I'm not sure that the teachers end up where I'd most like them to be (in teams in schools that really need them).

But perhaps these ideas are outdated, or things are different than I think they are. I remember someone telling me recently that students whose teachers scored high on the NBC tests showed higher gains in achievement than those who scored lower, or who took the test multiple times before passing. I didn't even know that NBCTs could get different scores -- I thought it was pass-fail. Anyway, what do you think? Is it a good program, whether you've done it or not? Is it helping kids in ways large enough to justify the time and money going into it? Let us know.

In the meantime, Illinois has lots of NBCTs -- congrats to one and all. Read the ISBE presser after the jump.

Illinois recognized as a leader for National Board Certified Teachers

Illinois 4th in the nation with more than 500 achieving highest teaching credential in 2007;

2nd year Illinois attains national ranking

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois State Board of Education announced today that Illinois ranks fourth in the nation for having the highest number of teachers achieving National Board Certification in 2007. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) released the findings today as part of National Board Certification Day. This is the second year in a row that Illinois has been ranked fourth nationally for the number of new teachers achieving the profession's highest credential.

"This is an exciting day for education in Illinois. All success inside the classroom starts with the teacher. The quality of a teacher's skills, practices and teaching knowledge is an essential component to raising student achievement," said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. "I congratulate each and every National Board Certified Teacher in Illinois who has worked so hard to achieve this prestigious national certification."

In 2007, 511 Illinois teachers achieved National Board Certification, which is the highest credential in the teaching profession. That is an 18.6 percent increase over the number of teachers who achieved the recognition in 2006. Between 2001 and 2006, the number of National Board Certified Teachers in Illinois increased more than five fold - from 352 in 2001 to 1,986 in 2006.

Illinois' National Board Certified teachers are among the nearly 8,500 teachers nationwide who achieved the prestigious certification in 2007. There are now 63,281 National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) in the United States. Nationally, Illinois continues to be among the leading states for the total number of teachers who have achieved this certification over time.

"Here in Illinois we've made significant investments in education. Our ranking as fourth in the nation with the most new National Board Certified Teachers shows not just our administration's commitment to education, but the dedication and determination of our teachers," said Governor Rod R. Blagojevich. "I congratulate each of the more than 500 Illinois teachers who earned this national recognition and thank them for the work they do every day to inspire their students to learn and achieve."

National Board Certification is a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize and reward great teachers--and make them better. Certification is achieved through a rigorous, performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete. As part of the process, teachers build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, videotapes and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching. Additionally, teachers are assessed on their knowledge of the subjects they teach.

In May 2000, the Illinois State Board of Education began issuing Illinois Master Certificates valid for 10 years and renewal thereafter every 10 years through compliance with requirements set forth by the State Board of Education for NBCTs. Through state appropriations, ISBE also provides an annual $3,000 stipend for National Board Certified Teachers who hold the Illinois Master Certificate as defined by the Illinois Teacher Excellence Act. In addition, nationally certified teachers are eligible to receive an additional $1,000 if they provide 60 hours of mentoring and/or $3,000 to assist candidates teaching in academically at-risk schools or schools located in economically disadvantaged communities.

More information about NBPTS and National Board Certification, visit the NBPTS web site at

A list of National Board Certified teachers in Illinois can be found online at:

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