ALBANY, N.Y. December 20, 2011 - The number of New York teachers earning the profession's challenging 'gold standard' - certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards - jumped 14.5 percent in 2011, pushing New York past 1,300 teachers who have achieved 'master teacher' status and who are now modeling best practices in classrooms across the state, State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. and NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira announced today.
King and Neira held the news conference at the junior-senior high school media center at Watervliet High School's Media Center. They honored some 25 Capital Region teachers representing this year's class of 165 nationally certified teachers from New York. Watervliet recognized the first three nationally certified teachers in the district's history.
"A good teacher is the single most important ingredient in student success," said King. "That's why the Regents are so intent on making sure that all of New York's teachers are well-trained and strongly supported. Teachers with National Board Certification are often among the strongest teachers in the state and country - their students and their colleagues will all benefit from their hard work and dedication."
"Even in New York, which is widely recognized for the excellence of its teaching force, these teachers stand out," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "Achieving national certification is a tremendous honor. Their work benefits their communities, their colleagues and, most importantly, the students they serve. NYSUT applauds their accomplishment."
Neira, a NBPTS board member, said as the nation looks at the best ways to gauge teacher effectiveness, research demonstrates the national certification process "is a meaningful tool to help deliver more effective teaching and greater student achievement."
Neira called national certification "an authentic model for measuring success because it provides teachers with a rich professional development experience. It showcases teachers at their best, taking ownership of their profession by encouraging practitioners to continually learn, reflecting on how they teach each day, and growing as professionals."
National certification from the Virginia-based National Board for Profession Teaching Standards is the highest credential a classroom teacher can earn. Candidates spend between 200-400 hours of their own time having their teaching measured against high and rigorous standards through an extensive series of performance-based assessments. These assessments include teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes or DVDs, and thorough analyses of the candidate's teaching and the students' learning. The process involves written exercises that probe the depth of a candidate's subject matter knowledge, as well as his or her understanding of how to teach those subjects.
NYSUT assists national board candidates by offering awareness programs, support and advice through on-line discussion forums, conferences and professional development through its Education & Learning Trust. The union works with Teacher Centers to support candidates through the challenging board-certification process. Many school districts support national certification by providing teacher-candidates with release time.
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents more than 600,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.