Education
4:43 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Wash. State Tops Nation In Number Of New National Board-Certified Teachers

Washington state has the largest number of new National Board-certified teachers in the country.

A total of 516 new board-certified teachers have joined the state’s ranks. Washington now has more than 7,000 certified teachers, which puts the state in fourth place nationwide.

National Board certification is a rigorous and voluntary teaching credential earned in addition to the two required levels of certification for teaching in the state's public schools. But it can make a difference in the classroom, according to the state teachers union.

"The research that’s been done points that students who are working with national board-certified teachers learn at higher rates. So it’s really good for Washington," said Jim Meadows of the Washington Education Association. 

To earn the certification, teachers must submit a series of assessments and a portfolio, and undergo peer evaluation. 

The state's conditional loan program helps teachers pay for the cost of certification. Teachers often repay the loan using the $5,000 bonus they receive from the state upon completion.

About one-third of these certified teachers teach in "challenging" schools with high rates of poverty. Seattle had the most board-certified teachers in the state this year, with 54.