Washington has 87 newly certified National Board Certified Teachers this year. An additional 271 teachers renewed their certificate, meaning Washington ranks fourth nationwide in the total number of NBCTs.
“I’m extremely proud of our role as a leader in the National Board program,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “By continuing to support teachers through this rigorous certification process, we’re saying, ‘Teaching matters, and it’s a profession worth investing in.’”
This is the last year teachers can certify under the old certification process. Across the country, fewer teachers were certified as a result. December 2017 is the earliest candidates can certify under the new certification process. Certification under the new process can take up to five years. Washington currently has nearly 4,000 teachers in the pipeline, which represents 19 percent of all candidates and the highest in the country.
“We are thrilled to add more teachers to the National Board family and continue Washington’s prominence as a national leader,” said Nasue Nishida, executive director of the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession. “By achieving this certificate these teachers have demonstrated an accomplished level of their teaching practice and are making positive impacts on their students’ learning.”
The state’s bonus and conditional loan programs have been critical to the National Board program’s success and a rapid increase in the number of NBCTs in Washington. Candidates also receive significant professional support throughout the process.
“Washington Education Association educators continue to be number one in the nation in receiving National Board Certification,” said Kim Mead, president of the association. “I am proud of the program developed by our association to assist individuals through the process and the dedication of the NBCTs to education and their students.”
Washington began incentivizing National Board Certification in 1999 with a 15 percent pay increase. In 2007, the state Legislature passed a bill that awards a $5,000 bonus to each NBCT. 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).