For Immediate Release: December 19, 2013
JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced that 139 teachers in Mississippi achieved National Board Certification this year, bringing the total number of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) in Mississippi to 3,557. The highest mark of accomplishment in the profession, National Board Certification demonstrates that teachers have attained the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare students for 21st century success. Mississippi ranks 7th in the nation for total number of NBCTs.
To date, more than 106,000 teachers in all 50 states and around the world have achieved this highest mark of accomplishment in the profession through a rigorous, performance-based, peer-review process.
“Research proves that teacher quality has a direct impact on student achievement, and Mississippi is making strides in supporting educators who want to bring their best to the classroom,” said Governor Phil Bryant. “Mississippi is proud of the teachers who have achieved National Board Certification, and we look forward to their leadership in schools across the state.”
Saluting the nation’s newest NBCTs, National Board president and CEO Ron Thorpe said, “Achieving National Board Certification is not only a great personal achievement, it is a strong statement about a teacher’s commitment to the profession and to students and their learning.”
“National Board Certification isn’t just about identifying great teachers—it’s about elevating teaching so that Mississippi students achieve at higher levels,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Accomplished teachers have demonstrated that they know how to work with their colleagues, with families and with the community to improve teaching and learning beyond their classroom.”
The state of Mississippi provides significant support for teachers seeking Board certification. Teachers who complete the process are eligible for reimbursement of the certification fees. In addition, the state funds the World Class Teaching project which provides mentoring and support for teachers working towards their certification. Mississippi’s Board-certified teachers receive an annual stipend of $6,000.
In a three-year project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mississippi is partnering with the National Board to build a sustainable system of support for teachers across the state to pursue and achieve National Board Certification. Mississippi was selected as a partner in part due to its strong support system for National Board candidates through the state-funded World Class Teaching project at university campuses across the state.
NBCTs are shaping the profession in Mississippi and beyond. Mississippi NBCT Renee Moore was named Mississippi Teacher of the Year and received the Milken Educator Award in 2001. Moore is a leader in state and national efforts to transform teacher preparation and entry into the profession, and is a current member of the NBPTS Board of Directors. Now teaching English at Mississippi Delta Community College, she served for 10 years on the state commission overseeing education, certification and licensure for teachers and administrators in addition to various national commissions.
“In the interests of equity and excellence for all students in Mississippi, it is critical that every new and aspiring teacher is given a chance to become accomplished in his or her field or subject,” Moore said. “This support and expectation must begin in teacher preparation programs and continue throughout a teacher’s career. Once teachers achieve Board certification, we need to find productive opportunities for them to serve in teacher-leadership roles in their schools, districts and on a statewide level to shape the profession.”
Research has shown that NBCTs have a significant impact on student achievement and that their students outperform their peers in other classrooms. Most recently, a 2012 study by Harvard University’s Strategic Data Project found that students of NBCTs in the Los Angeles Unified School District made learning gains equivalent to an additional two months of instruction in math and one month in English Language Arts.
National Board Certification is available in 25 certificate areas from Pre-K-12th grades. National Board Standards are written for teachers, by teachers, and accomplished teachers are represented at every level of the organization, from key staff roles to the NBPTS Board of Directors and the Certification Council, which guides policy and implementation of the certification program. This fall the National Board announced revisions to the certification process that will help ensure more students across the country have the opportunity to learn from Board-certified teachers. Learn more about the revisions here.
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