National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Candidacy
Federal Way Public Schools is routinely among the districts in the state and the nation with the most teachers to earn national board certifications each year from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).
"National Board candidacy is a demanding process with numerous benefits to students as teachers become even more self-reflective about their practice and increase their specific subject area knowledge base,” said Francine Oishi, Program Coordinator of Teacher Induction, Mentoring, and Support. “The process of simply preparing for national board certification has a positive impact on a teacher’s skills. I’m proud that this district and state support teachers who are working hard to be the best that they can be."
Newly board-certified teachers were honored at the March 27, 2018 Federal Way Public Schools Board of Directors Meeting.
A joint effort led by the Office of the Governor, 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 an increase in NBCTs in Washington in the past decade. Federal Way Public School (FWPS) teachers who earned National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification in 2017 were honored by the district’s school board at the March 27 meeting. This year’s increase in newly National Board Certified Teachers is one of the school district’s largest in recent years. FWPS is one of the top 10 districts in the state for the number of newly certified teachers.
“Our scholars are going to benefit from your expertise. You are our heroes and sheroes,” FWPS superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell shared with the teachers. “We are excited to see the significant increase of teachers receiving this nationally recognized certification in our school district.”
National board certification is an advanced certification program designed to recognize outstanding teachers who meet high and rigorous standards that accomplished teachers should know and be able to do.
While state licensing systems establish a baseline of requirements for teachers, nationally board certified teachers have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills, and practices. It is the only credential process that compares a teacher’s knowledge and skills with a national set of professional standards. The process requires teachers to reflect on how they form and deliver lessons and demonstrate leadership in their schools and communities.
Federal Way’s success in preparing candidates for the process can be credited to some key people, says Oishi. “The heart of the success of the program is the facilitators and the guest NBCTs,” she said. “They are committed to the success of the candidates in their cohorts and invest hours in personalized support.”
In addition to the pride of earning certification, there are financial incentives for teachers. In 2007, the state Legislature passed a bill that awards a $5,000 bonus to each NBCT. The bonus is pro-rated in the initial year of earning National Board Certification. 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. 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.
How Federal Way Supports NB Candidates
NBCT facilitators Susan Baga, Anthony Blake, Christine Hroncich, and Lori Harrison hold classes for NB candidates, providing formal instruction about the national board certification process, orchestrating collaborative work, and providing tips for success and feedback on potential portfolio submissions.
In addition, guest nationally board certified teachers attend meetings each year to offer insights to candidates for certification in the same areas that they gained certification in (i.e., Science/Early Adolescence, Generalist/Middle Childhood, etc.).