FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 20, 2018) – Today Kentucky celebrated the 316 newly certified National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs), the fifth largest class of NBCTs in the nation. With 3,601 NBCTs, Kentucky ranks seventh in the nation for the percentage of teachers who are board-certified (8.6 percent) and eighth in the nation for the total number of board-certified teachers.
This large class of newly board-certified teachers, the second largest in Kentucky’s history, represents the first to be certified in the 3.0 version. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has revised the certification process to be more flexible and accommodating; it can be completed in one to three years while maintaining high and rigorous standards. Kentucky currently has over 700 teachers that are candidates in the new certification process.
Kentucky has consistently ranked in the top 10 nationally for the number of board-certified teachers. James Adams, executive director of the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB), described board certification as “the highest credential in the teaching profession.” Adams added, “The progress that Kentucky continues to make towards the legislative goal of having at least one NBCT in every school is something to celebrate. This innovative goal is important for our students.”
Kentucky has strong statewide support for National Board Certification. NBCTs are entitled to an annual $2,000 salary bonus for the life of their certificate. Upon successful completion of board certification, Kentucky teachers currently holding a Rank II certificate are eligible to apply for Rank I.
Peggy Brookins, a National Board Certified Teacher and the president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards said, “I could not be more proud of Kentucky’s 316 new National Board Certified Teachers. This is an accomplishment for the teachers but I can’t overstate the impact it will have on students. NBCTs have an oversized impact on student learning and these teachers, 70 percent of whom teach in high-needs Title I schools, are working with students who need them most. Every student deserves a teacher whose practice meets the highest standards in the field. Great work, Kentucky!”
National Board Certification is voluntary and open to all teachers who have three years of classroom experience and a baccalaureate degree. “The fact that this rigorous process requiring nearly 400 hours of time and effort to achieve is voluntary, speaks volumes about the dedication that these teachers have to reaching high standards for themselves and their students,” said Hal Heiner, secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. “Congratulations to these newly board-certified teachers on achieving this impressive milestone in their careers. Certification shows a strong commitment to their profession, schools and students to provide the best education possible to the children in Kentucky.”
National Board Certification is available in 25 certificate areas from preschool through 12th grade.
“Achieving National Board Certification takes hard work and dedication, and shows our teachers’ strong commitment to their profession and to improving teaching and learning for all Kentucky’s students,” said Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt. “We know that teachers are the biggest factor in the success of our students, and it is an honor to recognize educators who are helping their students grow, while serving as an example of what it means to be a lifelong learner.”
At today’s event Senator Max Wise presented the NBCTs with a proclamation from Governor Matt Bevin proclaiming the day “National Board Certified Teacher Day” in the Commonwealth. Each teacher was given an official pin from the National Board at the event.
“Teachers are the power behind National Board Certification. The standards, assessments, and organization are run by teachers and for teachers,” said Holly Bloodworth, NBCT, president of the Kentucky NBCT Network.
Bloodworth led the reciting of the Five Core Propositions, the foundation of board certification, considered the education profession’s Hippocratic Oath, at today’s ceremony.
The Kentucky Department of Education, Kentucky National Board Certified Teacher Network, and the Education Professional Standards Board have worked collaboratively with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards for three years as a site in the Network to Transform Teaching funded by the U.S. Department of Education Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant.