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updated: 1/30/2013 1:40 PM

Three District 15 teachers earn National Board Certification

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Tim Waldorf

According to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), three District 15 teachers recently earned their National Board Certification--the highest credential available to American educators.

This means District 15 remains among the state's leaders in number of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) with a total of 78.

Members of District 15's 2012 class of NBCTs are …

• Elizabeth Hamm, a special education teacher at John G. Conyers Learning Academy;

• Mary Mathey, a visual arts teacher at Jane Addams School; and

• Angelique Masellis, a fourth-grade teacher at Jane Addams School.

National Board Certification is achieved through a rigorous, performance-based, peer-reviewed assessment of a teacher's pedagogical skills and content knowledge. The certification process takes one to three years to complete. While licensing standards set the basic requirements to teach in a state, NBCTs demonstrate advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices similar to the certifications earned by experts in law and medicine.

New findings from Harvard University's Strategic Data Project from the Los Angeles Unified School District affirm the strong positive impact of NBCTs in the classroom. The study found that on average National Board Certified Teachers outperform other teachers with the same levels of experience by 0.07 and 0.03 standard deviations in elementary math and language arts, respectively, which is roughly equivalent to one to two months of additional instruction.

This is not an isolated case, as a nearly identical level of success in NBCTs advancing student performance was measured in a study last year--also by Harvard's Strategic Data Project--in Georgia's Gwinnett County Public Schools. Both studies echo a 2008 national study by the National Research Council, which found that students taught by NBCTs score better on achievement tests than students whose teachers are not Board-certified. Other studies have identified improved teacher retention and improved school culture as additional positive impacts associated with National Board Certification.

-Story Submitted by Community Consolidated School District 15