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Twenty-eight Mainers attain national certification


    The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) continues its progress in advancing education reform with the announcement of nearly 8,900 new National Board Certified Teachers, bringing the total number of accomplished teachers and school counselors certified by NBPTS to more than 82,000. 
    Maine currently has 179 National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT); 28 of them achieved certification this year (click here for a list).
    In many schools across the nation, National Board teachers are assuming leadership roles—serving as mentors, facilitating professional development and leading education reform efforts. States are using accomplished teachers to increase effectiveness and improve school conditions to better meet the academic learning needs of students in targeted high-need schools.
    Maine’s NBCTs have been involved in national and state reform efforts and are engaged in state and local policy efforts that effect classroom practice.
    In a congressional report, the National Research Council (NRC) confirmed that National Board teachers advance student achievement and learning, stay in the classroom longer, support new and struggling teachers, and assume other school-based leadership roles. The NRC acknowledged that students taught by National Board Certified Teachers make higher gains on achievement tests than students taught by non-board-certified teachers.
    NBPTS certification is a voluntary assessment program designed to develop, recognize and retain accomplished teachers. Certification is achieved through a performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete. It consists of four, classroom based portfolio entries and a day-long, six-part, on-line assessment.
    The National Board’s Take One program allows individuals to do one of the classroom based video portfolio entries that may be used towards the full process. FMI about NBPTS, National Board Certification and Take One, visit 
www.nbpts.org


MEA support for certification

    MEA manages the state’s federal subsidy program for National Board Certification and Take One. This subsidy program provides one-time subsidies in the amount of $1250 towards the full certification fee of $2500. In addition, this program provides full funding for the NBPTS Take One program for a limited number of individuals a year.
    This year the subsidy program provided 50 full program subsidies and 34 Take One subsidies to teachers and principals in Maine. The new cycle of subsidy for 2010-2011 begins January 30, 2010.
     MEA also provides intensive support free of charge to any member who is engaged in National Board Certification or Take One, while non-members pay $450. Participants work with fully trained Candidate Support Providers who are Nationally Certified themselves.
    This year the program consisted of three day-long support workshops focusing on the requirements and common skill sets required of all candidates. In addition, the support providers provided small, regional targeted support sessions allowing for more individual time as participants crafted their portfolio entries and reflected on their video-taped lessons.
    FMI about Maine’s Support of National Board Certification including subsidies, visit
http://www.maine.gov/education/cert/nbpts.html  or contact Ellen Holmes at eholmes@nea.org
    Another resource for early childhood teachers who have attained certification or are pursuing it can be found at
http://ecgen.org/. NBCT Kelly Mueller, who formerly taught in SAD 67 Lincoln, created this website entitled “The Power of Accomplished Teaching” as a virtual school where candidates and NBCTs can share the ongoing journey of accomplished teaching.


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