Two hundred and fifty-eight Kentucky teachers have achieved National Board Certification.

Kentucky is ranked 6th in the number of teachers earning National Board Certification in the class of 2013.  National Board Certification demonstrates that teachers have attained the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare students for 21st century success. Kentucky’s total number of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) now totals 2,980, making it 10th in the nation.

Kentucky consistently ranks in the top ten nationally for the total number of NBCTs.  “Since its inception, Kentucky’s National Board Program has proved to be a model for many other states,” said Robert Brown, Executive Director of the Education Professional Standards Board.  “It is with great pleasure that I congratulate these educators for their extraordinary commitment to the education of Kentucky’s children and for achieving the highest credential in the teaching profession.”  Upon successful completion of the National Board Certification process, Kentucky teachers currently holding a Rank II certificate are eligible to apply for Rank I and may serve as mentors for Kentucky’s aspiring NBPTS candidates.

Kentucky has a strong and growing statewide support and incentives for National Board Certification. NBCTs are entitled to an annual $2,000 salary bonus for the life of their certificate. “Teachers are our front line in preparing Kentucky’s students to face tomorrow’s challenges,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “Kentucky is committed to the legislative goal of having accomplished teachers who have achieved National Board Certification in every public school by 2020. In our efforts to meet this ambitious goal, we will raise the level of teaching and learning across the commonwealth.”

Through a U.S. Department of Education Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant, The Kentucky Education Association (KEA), the Kentucky Department of Education, and the Education Professional Standards Board are working together to expand the number of NBCTs across the commonwealth. As part of this initiative, Kentucky’s NBCTs will help lead the way in areas including teacher evaluation, implementation of the Common Core State Standards and serve as Education Recovery Specialists in priority schools.

“If Kentucky is going to be successful in implementing its ambitious education agenda, the profession must lead the way, with accomplished teachers at the forefront,” said Stephanie Winkler, president of the KEA.

To date, more than 106,000 teachers in all 50 states and around the world have achieved this highest mark of accomplishment in the profession through a rigorous, performance-based, peer-review process. Saluting the nation’s newest NBCTs, Ron Thorpe, National Board president and CEO, said: “Achieving National Board Certification is not only a great personal achievement, it is a strong statement about a teacher’s commitment to the profession and to students and their learning.”

NBCTs are shaping the profession in Kentucky and nationally. Washington state NBCT Jeff Charbonneau was named National Teacher of the Year in 2013. Most recently, Holly Bloodworth, an NBCT teaching third grade at Murray Elementary School, was named Kentucky Teacher of the Year for 2014.

“The National Board Certification process enabled me to become deeply reflective of how my teaching reaches each and every student,” Bloodworth said. “As an NBCT, I feel a great satisfaction knowing that I am giving all of my students a strong foundation to succeed in school and a lifelong love of learning.”

Research has shown that National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) have a significant impact on student achievement and that their students outperform their peers in other classrooms. Most recently, a 2012 study by Harvard University’s Strategic Data Project found that students of NBCTs in the Los Angeles Unified School District made learning gains equivalent to an additional two months of instruction in math and one month in English Language Arts.

National Board Certification is available in 25 certificate areas from Pre-K-12th grades. National Board Standards are written for teachers, by teachers and accomplished teachers are represented at every level of the organization, from key staff roles to the NBPTS Board of Directors and the Certification Council, which guides policy and implementation of the certification program. This fall the National Board announced revisions to the certification process that will help ensure more students across the country have the opportunity to learn from Board-certified teachers. Learn more about the revisions here.