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Sunday Evening News: National Board Certification

November 28, 2005

By Mike Nelson

Congratulations to EHS math teacher Eric Fiedler who received National Board Certification last week! This year we have five Enumclaw School District teachers going through this rigorous process. The following briefly describes the process. You can also find out more information about certification on the National Board Certification web site: http://www.nbpts.org/
National Board Certification is a symbol of professional teaching excellence. A certificate will attest that a teacher was judged by his or her peers as one who is accomplished, makes sound professional judgments about students' best interests and acts effectively on those judgments. Offered on a voluntary basis, National Board Certification complements, but does not replace, state licensing. While state licensing systems set entry-level standards for novice teachers, National Board Certification establishes advanced standards for experienced teachers.

National Board Certification measures a teacher's practice against high and rigorous standards through an extensive series of performance-based assessments, which includes teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes and thorough analyses of the candidate's teaching and students' learning. The process involves written exercises that probe the depth of a candidate's subject-matter knowledge, as well as his or her understanding of how to teach those subjects.

Certification is voluntary and open to anyone with a baccalaureate degree and three years of classroom experience in either a public or private school. It is valid for 10 years, after which a teacher must seek renewal.