North Carolina continues to lead the nation with teachers who hold certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards after 710 additional teachers earned the well-regarded credential this month.
In all, 22,653 teachers in North Carolina now have achieved the respected national certification, which is based on a rigorous performance-based assessment that typically takes from one to three years to complete and measures what accomplished teachers and counselors should know and be able to do.
Nationally, 3,831 teachers earned the certification in 2018-19, raising the total among all states to nearly 126,000. In addition, almost 4,783 teachers nationally achieved recertification, including 1,421 board-certified teachers in North Carolina.
North Carolina Superintendent Mark Johnson said students gain from teachers who earn national certification, a demanding process that helps them become more effective in the classroom by meeting high standards for the profession.
“Congratulation to all of the teachers who have earned this certification,” Johnson said.
“It is outstanding for North Carolina to be the leader in nationally certified teachers.”
North Carolina accounts for nearly one-fifth (18 percent) of all teachers nationally who are certified by the teaching standards organization. Florida ranks second with 13,552 (11 percent of national total) followed by Washington (11,368) South Carolina (9,226) and California (7,329).
Nationally certified teachers also account for a larger percentage of the total teaching force in North Carolina than any other state, with more than one of every five having earned the credential.
North Carolina school districts also continue to rank among the top 30 districts nationwide for numbers of teachers with national certification, with six: Wake County remained first with 2,921; Charlotte-Mecklenburg is fourth with 2,241; Guilford County is 10th with 738; Buncombe County is 18th with 601; Winston-Salem/Forsyth is 19th with 588; and New Hanover County is 25th with 530.
In addition, nine North Carolina colleges and universities continue to hold top ranks among the 50 higher education institutions nationwide with the most alumni holding the national credential, with five of the North Carolina institutions in the top 10. Appalachian State University was first with 2,057, East Carolina University, second with 2,042; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, fourth with 1,362; the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, sixth with 1,334; the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, seventh with 1,198; North Carolina State University, 15th with 907; Western Carolina University, 19th with 874; the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, 21st with 837; and Meredith College, tied for 42nd with 451.
Teachers in North Carolina who achieve certification receive a 12 percent salary supplement to their regular pay. They also are awarded eight continuing education credits (CEUs).
North Carolina supports teachers pursuing national certification by providing low-interest loans to pay the $1,900 assessment fee and three paid release days from normal teaching duties for new candidates to develop their portfolios. Also, the State Board of Education awards a North Carolina teaching license to out-of-state teachers who are employed in North Carolina and who possess the national certification.
Certification by the National Board is the highest credential in the teaching profession, and participation is voluntary. As a part of the certification process, candidates build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, videotapes and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching. Certification is currently available to educators in 25 fields.