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National University Named Professional Teaching Development Center by National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

November 3, 2008

La Jolla, Calif. – As part of a statewide effort to provide a quality education for every child in California, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) announced that four local universities, including National University, and one county office of education have been selected as Professional Teaching Development Centers (PTDCs) that will strengthen the state’s support for National Board Certification, the highest credential in the teaching profession.

“Being chosen as one of California’s Professional Teaching Development Centers by the NBPTS is clearly aligned with National University’s position as one of the state’s leading producers of quality teachers,” said Ronarae Adams, Director of National University’s NBCT program and PTDC. “National’s commitment to developing National Board Certified Teachers is evident in the fact that more than 60 of its adjunct faculty and the dean of its School of Education hold National Board Certification. National University is positively impacting academic achievement as a result of its outreach and partnerships with schools and districts, with the end result of an increasing number of children across the country being served by a National Board Certified teacher from National University.”

In addition to National University, the other sites chosen as PTDCs include: California State University, Northridge; California State University, Fullerton; San Joaquin County Office of Education; and the University of California, Los Angeles.

The announcement comes shortly after the highly respected National Research Council of the National Academies found that students taught by National Board Certified Teachers make higher gains on achievement tests than those taught by teachers who have not applied or did not achieve certification. The Congressionally mandated report also found that National Board Certification has a positive impact on teacher retention and professional development.

“One of the key factors for the country’s future economic well being is ensuring a quality education for every child, and a quality education begins with engaged and effective teachers in the classroom,” said Rhonnel Sotelo, the Stuart Foundation’s vice president for program and operations. “The Foundation is pleased to support National Board Certification because it represents one of the best hopes we have for improving teaching and learning over the long haul. We know that National Board Certified Teachers offer students the skills necessary to thrive in school and in the workplace – essential factors for our nation’s success in the 21st century global economy.”

The primary goal of this initiative is to increase the number of National Board Certified Teachers working in low-performing schools, with an emphasis on schools receiving QEIA (Quality Education Investment Act) funding. These centers will also provide support for teachers interested in enrolling in Take One!, a unique offering from NBPTS that can be used as stand-alone professional development by any educator and by licensed teachers as an initial step in becoming candidates for National Board Certification.

“This generous support from the Stuart Foundation to fund our centers exemplifies the understanding that the single most important action to improve our schools is to strengthen teaching,” said Joseph A. Aguerrebere, NBPTS president and CEO. “We are pleased that these new centers will lead to more of California’s teachers reaching a higher standard by seeking National Board Certification.”

There are nearly 3,900 National Board Certified Teachers in California who have met rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review. Nearly 100 local school districts recognize National Board Certification as a mark of distinction, similar to the way the medical and accounting professions recognize expertise.

National Board Certification is a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize and reward accomplished teachers. While state licensing systems set basic requirements to teach in each state, NBCTs have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices. Certification is achieved through a rigorous, performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete.

As part of the process, teachers build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, video recordings and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching. Additionally, teachers are assessed on their knowledge of the subjects they teach.

For more information about NBPTS and National Board Certification, visit the NBPTS Web site at www.nbpts.org.

About the Stuart Foundation
The Stuart Foundation works in California and Washington to ensure children and youth grow up in caring families, learn in vibrant and effective schools, and have opportunities to become productive members of their communities. For more information, please visit www.stuartfoundation.org.

About NBPTS
Created by educators and policymakers in 1987, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan and nongovernmental organization. NBPTS advances the quality of teaching and learning by developing professional standards for accomplished teaching; creating and administering National Board Certification, a voluntary system to certify teachers who meet those standards; and integrating certified teachers into educational reform efforts. Today, nearly 64,000 National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) are making a positive difference in the lives of students across the nation.

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