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Wisconsin students are the winners when it comes to the announcement today that 80 teachers have achieved National Board Certification, the highest accomplishment in the teaching profession.
Through the Wisconsin Education Association Council, dozens of the newly certified teachers received support such as mentoring and training to help them through the intense process.
“Wisconsin teachers are committed to the success of their students, and that is illustrated by the latest group of educators who have completed this rigorous, challenging process,” said Mary Bell, president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council. “These are dedicated professionals who undertook this years-long process on their own time, with their own money to review and improve their skills and knowledge as educators. In seeking this certification they all sacrificed time with family and friends so they can both affirm their work as professionals as well as learn how to become even better.”
Among teachers achieving certification, 79 are employed in public schools and one is employed in a private school. The newest class boosts the total number to 936 educators teaching in Wisconsin schools who hold national certification. They are among more than 100,000 nationwide, 4,980 of whom completed certification this year.
Recent findings from Harvard University’s Center for Education Policy Research show students whose teachers are certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards have higher rates of achievement than their peers in the same districts.
In the Eau Claire Area School District, 18 teachers achieved certification – the largest group from one district in the state. There, the local education association partnered with the school district to promote the process and clear barriers, including allowing teachers time to work on their lesson plans for certification and assisting in completing videotaped entries.
Statewide, Milwaukee Public Schools employs the highest number of National Board Certified Teachers, followed by Madison, Eau Claire, Manitowoc and Sheboygan.
Bell noted that, with state and federal focus on school reform, it’s essential that dedicated educators are the heart of educational change. When excellent educators are engaged in developing school policy, that policy is focused on student learning. A trend in the state to defund incentives for teachers to pursue advanced skills works against improvement, she said.