May 02, 2011

NYSUT honors Capital Region’s nationally certified teachers

Source: NYSUT Media Relations

ALBANY, N.Y. May 2, 2011 - The Capital District’s most accomplished educators will be recognized Tuesday during an event honoring “the gold standard” of the area’s teaching profession.

“In Pursuit of Excellence: Celebrating National Board Certified Teachers,” will recognize educators from Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Saratoga and Warren counties who have obtained national certification.

Sponsored by the New York State United Teachers and the Capital Area School Development Association, the event will start with a reception at 5 p.m. at the Desmond Hotel, 660 Albany Shaker Road in Colonie. Dinner will begin at 6 p.m., with speakers including NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira, CASDA Executive Director James Butterworth and John King Jr., the State Education Department’s senior deputy commissioner.

In all, more than 220 “master teachers” from nearly 50 Capital Region school districts will be honored Tuesday. Statewide, there are more than 1,100 Nationally Board Certified teachers.

“These nationally certified teachers demonstrate the highest level of achievement in their profession and are a key reason why New York state’s public education system is repeatedly cited as among the nation’s best,” said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. “They are richly deserving of recognition for their dedication, knowledge and professionalism - all qualities that have a significant positive impact on the lives of their students. We are proud to call them NYSUT members, and we congratulate them for their tremendous success.”

National Board Certification is awarded to educators who typically spend 200 to 400 hours 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 and a thorough analysis of the candidates’ teaching and 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.

Neira, a member of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, said the national certification process helps foster greater student achievement by paving the way for best practices to be shared in classrooms district- and statewide.

"National certification is a rigorous, but also rich and rewarding professional development experience,” said Neira. “The willingness of these teachers to lead their profession enhances teacher quality, which is essential in our effort to close the achievement gap. And, the commitment of these professionals to improve the already high level of instruction in our classrooms will help ensure all students have an opportunity to succeed.”

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.

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