Raleigh – North Carolina continues to lead the nation in numbers of teachers who have earned certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, with 99 additional teachers gaining the endorsement from the Arlington, Va., based organization earlier this month.
Nearly 21,000 teachers in North Carolina have attained national certification, which is based on a rigorous performance-based assessment that typically takes from one to three years to complete and measures what accomplished teachers and counselors should know and be able to do.
Nationally, 533 teachers earned certification in 2015-16, raising the total among all states to nearly 113,000. In addition, almost 3,400 teachers nationally achieved recertification, including 916 teachers in North Carolina.
State Superintendent June Atkinson congratulated the newly-certified and recertified teachers saying, “I’m pleased North Carolina continues to be a leader in National Board Certified teachers. North Carolina teachers show us every year that they are willing to accept the added challenge to strengthen their craft and improve teaching and learning for students.”
North Carolina accounts for almost 21 percent (20.83) of all teachers nationally who are certified by the teaching standards organization. Florida ranks second with 13,576 followed by South Carolina (8,928), Washington (8,596) and California (6,426).
In addition, five North Carolina public school districts placed in the top 20 districts nationally for numbers of teachers with national certification: Wake County remained first with 2,522; Charlotte-Mecklenburg is fourth with 1,959; Guilford County is ninth with 774; Winston-Salem/Forsyth is 15th with 555; and Buncombe County is 16th with 541.
The NBPTS also ranked the top 50 public and private universities and colleges with the highest number of alumni with the national credential. Nine North Carolina universities or colleges made the top 50: Appalachian State University was first with 1,999, East Carolina University, second with 1,983; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, fourth with 1,307; the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, fifth with 1,299; the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, seventh with 1,155; North Carolina State University, 17th with 862; Western Carolina University, 19th with 841; the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, 23rd with 790; and Meredith College, 45th with 432.
Teachers in North Carolina who achieve certification receive a 12 percent salary supplement to their regular pay that is good for the 10-year life of the certification. They also are awarded eight continuing education credits (CEUs).
North Carolina supports teachers pursuing national certification by providing low-interest loans to pay the $1,900 assessment fee and three paid release days from normal teaching duties for new candidates to develop their portfolios. Also, the State Board of Education awards a North Carolina teaching license to out-of-state teachers who are employed in North Carolina and who possess the national certification.
Certification by the National Board is the highest credential in the teaching profession, and participation is voluntary. As a part of the certification process, candidates build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, videotapes and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching. Certification is currently available to educators in 25 fields.
The National Board in 2014-15 revised its certification process to make it more flexible and affordable while maintaining the same rigorous standards. Teachers can still earn certification in one year but can choose to take several years depending on their personal circumstances. The overall cost has decreased and candidates may pay for and submit each component separately.
Additional information about the national certification is available online.