Los Angeles sees jump in nationally-certified teachers

Los Angeles sees jump in nationally-certified teachers

(Calif.) Los Angeles Unified School District not only had the largest number of new National Board Certified Teachers overall, but also the most racially diverse group, according to the latest data from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

In total, LAUSD saw 166 of its teachers achieve National Board Certification, 92 of whom were teachers of color–two accomplishments research shows will likely benefit students throughout the district.

For instance, a 2015 study from Washington found that board-certified teachers are more effective than non-certified teachers with similar experience, and produce gains of up to 1.5 months of additional learning. And a 2017 study led by Mississippi State University found that kindergarten and third-grade students with a National Board Certified reading teacher perform at a significantly higher level on literacy assessments than peers on average.

At the same time, a 2015 study of the teacher workforces in cities including Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Los Angeles and New Orleans from the Albert Shanker Institute–a think tank aligned with the American Federation of Teachers–found that minority educators often act as role models for minority students, and are often more willing to work in racially segregated areas or high-poverty schools and generally demand more academically from minority students than white teachers.

National Board Certification is about helping teachers become great, it is about elevating the teaching profession, and it is about helping children achieve at higher rates,” Peggy Brookins, president of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, said in a statement. “The certification process impacts teaching and learning well beyond an individual teacher’s classroom.”

According to the National Board, certification involves a rigorous, performance-based, peer-review process, in which educators must demonstrate their proven impact on student learning and achievement.

Certification consists of four components that include an assessment of the teacher’s content knowledge; a portfolio showing work students have done and the teacher’s feedback to students; two videos of the teacher in the classroom, showing lessons taught and the interaction with and among students; and another portfolio showing what sort of work the teacher does outside of the classroom that translates to better practices in the classroom. The portfolios and videos are assessed by a national panel of peers, and the overall process can take up to five years.

This year, nearly 5,500 teachers were newly board-certified, and about 4,000 board-certified teachers successfully renewed their certification across 48 states. There are now more than 118,000 board-certified teachers throughout the country.

In addition to gains made in Los Angeles, other highlights from this year’s group of newly Board-certified teachers include:

  • Washington, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Nevada, Hawaii, New Mexico and Colorado increased their total number of board-certified educators by more than 10 percent;
  • Fifteen states saw more than 100 teachers receive certifications, with 5 states having more than 300 new board-certified teachers;
  • About 120 districts have at least 10 new board-certified teachers;
  • More than 20 of the newly certified educators teach in Bureau of Indian Education affiliated schools; and
  • Among newly certified teachers and those who are still current candidates, 48 percent work in Title I schools.

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