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National-Board Certifications Hit 100K Mark

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced today that 4,980 teachers earned national-board certification in 2012, pushing the total number of educators who hold the advanced professional certification to more than 100,000.

In its announcement, the NBPTS also highlighted a recent report by Harvard University's Center for Education Policy Research showing that teachers with national-board certification in Los Angeles outperformed their peers on the basis of student standardized-test scores in math and English. The report echoes two other recent research studies on the effectiveness of board-certified teachers, according to the NBPTS.

The organization reports there are now national-board-certified teachers in all 50 states, with the largest numbers in North Carolina, Washington state, and Illinois.

In recent months, as part of a leadership change, the NBPTS has been in the process of retooling itself to increase its influence in a changing teacher-policy environment. According to officials with the organization, that process may ultimately result in significant changes to the group's flagship certification program, including streamlined procedures, tie-ins to the Common Core State Standards, and integration of student-achievement measures.

Meanwhile, as part of an initiative to raise the standards for entry into the teaching profession, the American Federation of Teachers recently tasked the NBPTS with the job of creating a rigorous new national exam that prospective educators would have to pass before entering the classroom.

According to its release, the NBPTS recently won a $3 million Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. It plans to use the funds to develop case studies to help strengthen preparation and early-career learning for 3rd-6th grade math and science teachers in high-needs schools.

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