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New National Board Certified Teachers Announced
Washington second in nation in number of new certifications

OLYMPIA — January 8, 2013 — For the fourth consecutive year, Washington state has placed second in the country in new National Board Certified teachers.

Numbers released today by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards show that Washington has the second-most new NBCTs (575), behind only North Carolina, and is fourth overall in the total number of NBCTs (6,817).

NBCT graph“I’ve been a strong supporter of the National Board program for years now,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “All the certified teachers I’ve talked to said that the process was great. It made them look deeply into their teaching habits. Many of them became better teachers. And that results in better students.”

At Baker Middle School in Tacoma, the entire teaching staff – 35 teachers – participated in the certification process: Twelve completed the process and are now NBCTs and 23 were TakeOne! candidates. According to Jillene Partrick, a social studies teacher at Baker, the team atmosphere helped everyone. “We were able to support one another or at least listen to one another with a greater sense of understanding about what we were all talking about,” she said.

Partrick noted the effect the teamwork had on students: “I think that they have seen that teachers need to continue their education to continue to improve and address the needs of the classroom.”

For Partrick, receiving a conditional loan for the costs of certification was crucial. The state’s one-of-a-kind conditional loan program allows candidates to delay most of the costs of certification until after they have certified; the loan is then paid back through the teacher’s bonus. This year, nearly 75 percent of the candidates chose a conditional loan. To date, the state has been paid back nearly $2 million, which could be used to provide additional loans for future candidates.

“Every person has different funding available to them and this was an option that opened the door to try my hand at the work involved with a little less stress,” said Partrick. “It also showed that the state is trying to create opportunities for more teachers to be involved in the process in order to reflect and grow as teachers and ultimately achieve National Board Certification.”

Dorn said he believes the certification process will help with the new evaluation system that will begin in 2013. “The new system will bring the same demands and analysis for reflection,” he said. “NBCTs, like the ones at Baker Middle School, represent the very best of our profession and will lead us into the next era of reform."

A joint effort led by Gov. Chris Gregoire, the Washington Education Association, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession, as well as to broad bipartisan support in the state Legislature, has led to a rapid increase in NBCTs.

Four school districts in Washington state are in the top 20, nationally, in new 2012 NBCTs:

  • 10th - Bellevue: 34 new NBCTs
  • 12th - Federal Way: 30 new NBCTs
  • 13th - Seattle: 28 new NBCTs
  • 16th - Lake Washington: 25 new NBCTs

“Once again Washington teachers have demonstrated their skill and commitment to their students,” said Gregoire. “This year’s new National Board Certificate holders continue a proud tradition to grow as professionals and focus on student learning. I congratulate them!”

“I’m proud of the educators across Washington state who have stepped up to the rigorous National Board Certification process,” said Mary Lindquist, president of the Washington Education Association. “Those newly certified join an impressive group of other NBCTs who are active leaders in improving public education, including many serving as association leaders. Washington is a widely recognized leader in the National Board Certification movement, and WEA is a committed partner in that effort.”

Board certification 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 NBCT. Teachers can receive 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).

More than 30 percent of new Washington NBCTs teach in challenging schools and 25 percent of all NBCTs are teaching in a challenging school.

Created in 1987, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit organization devoted to advancing the quality of teaching and learning.


About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015

For more information

NBCT teachers by district

NBCT - Washington

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

Take One!

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


Washington by the numbers:

Total number of National Board Certified Teachers: 6,817 (National rank: 4th)

Number of new board certified teachers in 2012: 575 (National rank: 2nd, behind N.C.)

25.5% (1,591 out of 6,242) of all NBCTs teach in “challenging schools.”

38 counties (out of 39) have at least one teacher with National Board certification.

4 districts have their first NBCTs this year.


   Updated 4/23/2013

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