Alexander, Burke become Polk’s new National Board Certified Teachers

Published 10:35 am Friday, December 12, 2008

Geoff Tennant with Julie Burke&bsp;Polk County Middle School math teachers Kenneth Alexander and Julie Burke are the latest Polk County Schools teachers to achieve certification from the prestigious National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). The Polk County Board of Education (BOE) recognized both teachers at its regular monthly meeting on Dec. 8 at Stearns Education Center.

National Board Certification is a voluntary, rigorous process that requires teachers to successfully demonstrate advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices. Certification is achieved through a performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete. The school system currently has a total of 36 National Board Certified Teachers among its staff.

All 50 states, the District of Columbia and more than 700 local school districts recognize National Board Certification as a mark of distinction and excellence. These municipalities provide valuable incentives to keep our most accomplished teachers in the classroom.

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For more information about NBPTS and National Board Certification, visit the NBPTS Web site at and see below.Gov. Mike Easley announced Tuesday that North Carolina again leads the nation in the total number of teachers who have earned certification by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. With 14,211 teachers across the state now certified, nearly 15 percent of North Carolina teachers have achieved National Board certification. North Carolina also ranked second in the nation in the number of newly certified teachers, with 1,453 earning the recognition this year.

&dquo;National Board Certified teachers are recognized across the country as some of the best educators in their profession,&39;&39; Easley said. &dquo;We are fortunate and honored that almost one-fifth of the nation&squo;s 74,000 certified educators are teaching in North Carolina classrooms.&39;&39;

While North Carolina is the number one state in the nation for its number of teachers with national certification, Wake County ranks 2nd among all school districts in the nation for its number of National Board Certified teachers (1,487) and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools ranks 4th.&bsp; Guilford and Forsyth counties also ranked among the top 20 counties in the nation.

National Board Certification, the highest credential in the teaching profession, requires an extensive series of performance-based assessments including teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes and thorough analyses of the candidates&39; classroom teaching and student learning. Teachers also complete a series of written exercises that probe the depth of their subject-matter knowledge, as well as their understanding of how to teach those subjects to their students.

North Carolina supports teachers&squo; efforts to achieve National Board Certification in the following ways:

&ull; Payment up front of the $2,500 assessment fee. (Teachers are obligated to teach in the state the following year whether or not they achieve certification.)

&ull; Three paid release days from normal teacher responsibilities to develop their portfolios.

&ull; A 12-percent salary supplement to the teachers&squo; regular salary, good for the 10-year life of the certification.

&ull; 15 continuing education units (CEUs) awarded to the individual for completing the National Board Certification process.

&bsp;Also, the State Board of Education awards a North Carolina teaching license to out-of-state teachers who possess National Board Certification.

North Carolina has led the nation in the number of nationally board certified teachers since 1994. The other states in the top three this year are Florida, with 12,670 and South Carolina, with 6,498 certified teachers.

In 2002, Easley launched the first-in-the-nation Teacher Working Conditions Survey, which provides detailed information at the school, district and state level on teacher perceptions of leadership, professional development, materials and resources, and other conditions of work that have an impact on teacher retention and student achievement. Results from the 2008 survey are currently available on;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;&bsp;

For more information on National Board Certification, go to