The Edmond Sun

Local News

January 25, 2013

Numbers of National Board Certified Teachers decline as incentive taken away

EDMOND — Teachers interested in becoming better at what they do are no longer working to obtain their National Board Certified Teacher title as they once did.

Numbers of Edmond area teachers applying for National Board Certification have dwindled to two in the past year and Edmond officials say at this time they know of no teachers working toward the process.

According to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards data in 2012, 4,980 teachers had achieved National Board Certification in Oklahoma bringing the total number of NBCTs nationwide to 102,237.

The two area teachers to earn the title in 2012 were Gina Tate at Edmond’s Ida Freeman Elementary and Chris Weatherford at Deer Creek Elementary School.

At this time 152 Edmond Public School teachers hold National Board Teacher Certification and 38 in the Deer Creek district hold certification according to NBPTS data.

“I believe that fewer teachers are applying for the NBCT status because there is no financial incentive,” said Tara Fair, Edmond School District associate superintendent. “The process is time consuming and extremely difficult. It requires some cost to the teacher up front. I do not have teachers that I know of at this time that are making application to NBCT. However, I believe if the incentive were to return, Edmond would have several working toward this certification.”

According to Tricia Pemberton, communications specialist, Oklahoma State Department of Education, if a teacher started working toward National Board certification prior to June 30, 2010, they will be eligible for the $5,000 stipend each year for 10 years as long as they are still teaching and if the amount subject is approved each year by the Legislature.

“In order to receive the stipend the teacher had to be in the classroom prior to June 30, 2010, and had to be in the classroom teaching as of Jan. 1 to get the money,” Pemberton said. “The money is sent to the school districts by Jan. 31 after the district has verified with the state. Some districts hold out taxes and some make it the teacher’s responsibility.”

In lieu of the National Board certification, Pemberton said the state offers Advanced Placement training for teachers, professional development training and is sending teams of teachers throughout the state for the Oklahoma 3C standards.

“In addition we are communicating with colleges of education for areas of teacher leader evaluation and targeting areas where teachers are coming up short,” Pemberton said. “One of the state goals is to have an effective teacher in every classroom.”

pmiller@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 171

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