2015 State of the Board: Impacting Schools Across the Country

ARLINGTON, Va. — January 20, 2016 — During 2015, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards helped drive important change in classrooms and legislatures across the US. Much of the work advanced the concept of a professional career continuum for educators, anchored by National Board standards for accomplished teaching.

“Having certified more than 112,000 teachers, we are perhaps best known for our Board certification process, but the National Board is also engaged in far-reaching initiatives to improve and elevate teaching practice across all aspects of the continuum, from the earliest days of preparation through the many aspects of teacher leadership,” said Peggy Brookins, who is both a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) and President and CEO of National Board.

In this first segment of a two-part release, National Board focuses on programs that will directly advance classroom practice. The second segment – Engaging in the Legislatures – can be accessed here.

In Schools

In addition to celebrating the 4,729 new and renewed Board-certified teachers announced in December and supporting the more than 10,000 teachers currently pursing certification, National Board participated in a range of programs designed to directly enhance teacher performance and student achievement.

  • Supporting teacher preparation and induction. In partnership with school districts and institutions of higher education, National Board worked to provide a clear picture of what accomplished teaching looks like and bolster understanding of how accomplished teachers think.
    • Six institutes of higher education and eight local school districts across three states (New York, Tennessee and Washington) continued piloting the use of ATLAS, a National Board library of video cases of accomplished teaching, in their pre-service and induction programs. In addition to the work in these sites, 93 organizations across the country are using ATLAS.
    • School district leadership in Wake County Public Schools (NC) launched an enhanced teacher induction program, called Beginner to Board-certified Induction Program. Building on their current comprehensive training and support for new teachers, the enhancements infuse Board certification and ATLAS as key components for third-year teachers. The effort aims to retain more beginning teachers by creating an intentional, National Board-embedded pipeline to certification for teachers in their fourth and fifth year of teaching.
  • Advancing literacy in Mississippi. In partnership with the Mississippi Department of Education and the World Class Teaching Program at six Mississippi universities, five summer literacy institutes were held including National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs), literacy teachers and students at risk of retention. The institutes provided at-risk K-3 students with additional learning and support while allowing literacy teachers to observe and gain literacy instructional strategies from their Board-certified colleagues. Data received shows that 79% of students went on to pass the state exam.
  • Building professional learning communities. A team of NBCTs in Illinois designed and launched a new school-based program called National Board Professional Development Schools, in which school-based cohorts of 10 or more teachers pursue Board certification as part of a professional learning community. Each school cohort participates in yearlong, job embedded, professional development that focuses on the Danielson Framework, Illinois State Teaching Standards, and Teacher Preparation Assessment (edTPA), all of which IL NBCTs have aligned to National Board’s five core propositions for accomplished teaching. This multiple-faceted approach has resulted in numerous inquiries from other states and districts interested in replicating this school-based model.
  • Improving student outcomes in Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools. 2015 saw continuation of a partnership in which BIE and National Board are working to support teachers in pursuing the highest professional standard to raise the quality of teaching in BIE schools and enhancing student learning and achievement.
  • Strengthening teacher growth and development in 11 states and districts. Building on the burgeoning success of a 2013 Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant, National Board was awarded a new SEED grant in October 2015 to continue its Network to Transform Teaching (NT3). The NT3 work will advance student learning by strengthening the structures, policies and programs that support teacher growth and development. With a focus on high-need schools, National Board is partnering with labor, management and practitioners in the following sites to strengthen polices and structures for teachers to attain Board certification and serve in instructional leadership roles: Alabama; Arizona; Clark County, Nevada; Illinois; Kentucky; Maryland; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; San Francisco, California; and Washington.
  • Increasing capacity and opportunities for teacher leadership. National Board is committed to strengthening a continuum within teaching that leads from pre-service teacher preparation to accomplished practice, then to a variety of leadership roles within the profession.
    • Teach to Lead, a partnership with National Board, U.S. Department of Education and ASCD, expands opportunities for teacher leadership by providing resources and opportunities for teacher-leaders to develop and amplify their work. Through five summits and nine leadership labs and with the support of more than 100 supporting organizations, the program grew in 2015 to include projects from more than 570 teachers from 46 states.
    • Through the Teacher Leadership Initiative (TLI), a partnership with the National Education Association and Center for Teaching Quality, teachers are recruited, prepared, activated, and supported to play an active role shaping the policies and practices that govern teaching and learning. Entering its final year in a 3-year pilot, approximately 600 teachers in 13 states have participated in TLI with significant results.

“All of us working to affect broad change across the country must maintain sight of our ultimate goal: directly impacting student achievement. At the National Board, we keep teachers and their students front of mind. We know every student can benefit from working with highly accomplished teachers and that is the premise for all we do,” said Brookins.

Read part two of the 2015 State of the Board: Engaging in Congress and the Legislatures >>