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39 Enumclaw and 27 White River teachers earn National Board Certification

Washington has the nation's largest group of newly-certified National Board Certified Teachers, according to numbers released last week by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

A total of 516 Washington teachers achieved their certification this year. Aside from leading the United States in newly-certified educators, Washington is fourth nationwide in the total number of NBCTs with 7,333.

Locally, Enumclaw has 39 National Board Certified Teachers and White River has 27.

Washington state’s investment in the National Board program is critical to its success. The state’s conditional loan program helps candidates pay for the cost of certification. Loans are repaid using the bonuses teachers earn after becoming certified. Half of these new NBCTs participated in the loan program and will pay back $506,000 into the revolving fund so that money can be made available to new candidates.

Board certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards requires teachers to submit a four-part portfolio and a six-exercise content and pedagogy assessment. The 10 entries document a teacher’s success in the classroom as evidenced by his or her students’ learning. The portfolio is then assessed by a national panel of peers.

In 2007, the state Legislature passed a bill that awards a $5,000 bonus to each Washington teacher earning board certification. Teachers can receive up to an additional $5,000 bonus if they teach in “challenging” schools, which are defined as having a certain percentage of students qualify for free and reduced-price lunch (50 percent for high schools, 60 percent for middle schools and 70 percent for elementary schools).

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