Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher, Legislators Recognize Excellence in Teaching
March 8, 2007, proclaimed National Board Certified Teacher Day in Kentucky
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher, joined by Kentucky Education Cabinet Secretary Laura E. Owens and members of the General Assembly, today signed a proclamation declaring March 8, 2007, as National Board Certified Teacher Day in the commonwealth. The event also served to honor the 218 teachers who earned certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 2006.
“Through research, National Board certification has been shown to improve student achievement in the classrooms of these teachers,” said Governor Fletcher. “These fine teachers help create an environment that enhances student learning experiences, and they have a major impact on the future of our students and our state. The First Lady joins me in congratulating these teachers for working hard to achieve what is the highest credential in the teaching profession.”
“As an educator, I understand how crucial it is that we have highly skilled, highly certified professionals in our classrooms,” said Secretary Owens. “I also join with Governor Fletcher and First Lady Glenna Fletcher in congratulating today’s honorees in achieving National Board certification.”
National Board certification measures a teacher’s practice against high and rigorous standards. Teachers who have participated have overwhelmingly stated it is the most powerful professional development experience of their careers.
Kentucky ranks 12th nationally with 1,116 National Board certified teachers – an eightfold increase in just five years.
“The program has proved to be a model for many other states,” said Dr. Phillip Rogers, executive director of the Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB). “It is with great pleasure that I congratulate these educators for their commitment to the education of Kentucky’s children and for achieving the highest credential in the teaching profession.” Upon successful completion of the National Board process, Kentucky teachers possessing a Rank II certificate are eligible to apply for Rank I and may serve as a mentor for Kentucky’s new NBCT candidates.
Since 2001, more than 5,000 math and science teachers have joined the ranks of National Board Certified Teachers in the United States. One of every 10 teachers who holds National Board certification teaches math or science.
“Because of the increasing importance of math and science education relating to U.S. competitiveness, we are pleased to report increasing numbers of math and science teachers achieving National Board certification,” said National Board for Professional Teaching Standards President and CEO Joseph A. Aguerrebere.
National Board certification is voluntary and open to all educators who have a baccalaureate degree and three years of classroom experience in either a public or private school. In addition to receiving financial support from the Teachers’ National Incentive Trust Fund, administered by the EPSB, all of Kentucky’s 2006-07 candidates will receive federal subsidies to help offset certification expenses.
In addition to the proclamation signing by Governor Fletcher, a reception hosted by the Kentucky Education Association and The Partnership for Kentucky Schools was held on the mezzanine of the Capitol Rotunda. Members of Kentucky’s General Assembly, including Sen. Ken Winters (R-Murray), chair of the Senate Education Committee, and Rep. Frank Rasche (D-Paducah), who chairs the House Education Committee, attended the events to personally congratulate the newly certified teachers on their outstanding accomplishment.
“I am strongly supportive of all teachers giving serious thought to pursuing National Board certification,” said Winters. “As I’ve interviewed and watched teachers that have completed this process I find a degree of excitement and confidence in the ability to make a difference in classrooms. Seldom does anything outstanding happen outside of enthusiasm and excitement. I believe this program generates that kind of excitement.”
“National Board certification is an arduous process, but it is one that causes teachers to learn, reflect, and apply their hard-earned experience to improvement of student learning in the classroom,” said Rasche. “It is practical and focused, and their students are the direct beneficiaries of this experience and training. I congratulate those who have chosen this route of professional improvement for themselves and their students.”
The new National Board certified teachers were recognized on the floor of the House of Representatives and in the Senate at the closing of the NBCT Hill Day Ceremonies.
Created by educators and policymakers in 1987, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan and nongovernmental organization. NBPTS advances the quality of teaching and learning by developing professional standards for accomplished teaching; creating and administering National Board Certification, a voluntary system to certify teachers who meet those standards; and integrating certified teachers into educational reform efforts. Today, more than 55,000 National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) are making a positive difference in the lives of students across the nation. For more information, visit www.kyepsb.net.