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NEA Sponsors National Board Certified Teacher Summits

Finding Ways To Raise Student Achievement with Accomplished Teachers

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One of the obstacles to raising student achievement is that not enough accomplished teachersincluding National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs)are working in low-performing, high-priority schools. While students in these schools clearly could benefit from the expertise of such teachers, the research shows that these high-needs schools tend to have more beginning teachers and teachers with less than full credentialsand significantly fewer NBCTs and other highly experienced and capable teachers.

What Will It Take To Attract and Retain NBCTs and Other Accomplished Teachers in High-Needs Schools?

NEA set out with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) to address this issue by cosponsoring a series of state-level summitsNational Board Certified Teacher Summits to generate state-specific recommendations on supporting and staffing high-needs schools. The summits captured the voices of National Board Certified Teachers in conversations about school, district, and state education policies focused on meeting the needs of high-priority schools.

The series of state summits held in North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Washington, Wisconsin, and Mississippi culminated in the National Strategy Forum on Supporting and Staffing High-Needs Schools Oct. 4-5, 2007 in Asheville, NC. NEA and NBPTS worked with the James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy to host the conference.

The October Forum was intended to initiate the development of a national strategy that focuses on what states need from the national level to support and staff high-needs schools. It brought together teams from the seven summit states, representatives from a number of national organizations, Congress persons and Congressional staff. A full report is expected by the end of October.

A paper Recruiting and Retaining Quality Teachers for High-Needs Schools— served as the basis for the discussions at the National Strategy Forum.

The paper was prepared by the Center for Teaching Quality, which has been providing technical assistance to the joint NEA/NBPTS effort. It draws "on the best available empirical evidence, key case studies, and the insights from some of the nation's most accomplished teachers to suggest how we may build on the foundation of existing programs."

The paper also distills the ideas from most of the state-level summits into five broad recommendations.

State Summit Reports

Each Summit report, which offers concrete recommendations on ways to support excellent teaching in that state's most challenged schools, was distributed to policy makers all over the state. Here are the reports from Summits:

North Carolina

Every Child Deserves Our Best (February 2006) (PDF, 1.21MB, 28pp) Full report on the North Carolina Summit.


The Teachers That Oklahoma Students Deserve (December 2006) ( PDF, 1.4MB, 25pp) Report on the Oklahoma Summit. Recommendations cover four areas: special training, grow-your-own NBCTs, incentive packages, and aligning programs and opportunities. The report would be of interest to policymakers who are concerned with staffing schools or with providing school funding, NBCTs, individuals who are interested in equity in education, schools of education, and individuals who want to replicate a collaborative problem-solving model. 


Top teachers explore solutions to biggest education issues (August 2006) Report with summaries of ideas and recommendations generated by participants of the Wisconsin Summit.


Closing Achievement Gaps and Staffing High-Needs Schools (November 2006) Full report with recommendations from the Ohio Summit.

South Carolina

Supporting and Staffing High-Needs Schools (February 2007) Full report with recommendations from the South Carolina Summit.

Washington, Mississippi

(Reports not yet available)

Related Links

»  Recruiting and Retaining Quality Teachers for High-Needs Schools: Insights from NBCT Summits and Other Policy Initiatives (PDF, 227 KB, 23pp)

» Center for Teaching Quality

» A Shared ResponsibilityStaffing All High-Poverty, Low-Performing Schools with Effective Teachers and Administrators (May 2005). This report addresses the range of interconnected conditions that cause the staffing gap. From the Learning First Alliance, a partnership of 11 national education organizations, including NEA.

The premise of the report: "We cannot solve the staffing problems simply by producing a greater number of teachers or by moving existing ones around.  Educators are not troops recruited and deployed by some centralized authority, but rather professionals who respond to opportunities for employment within national, state, and local labor markets. Our goal must be to abolish so-called 'hard-to-staff schools' by making today's high-poverty, low-performing schools the kinds of places where our best educators will want to work."

» Recruiting and Retaining National Board Certified Teachers in Hard-to-Staff, Low-Performing Schools—Silver Bullets or Smart Solutions ( PDF, 159KB, 13 pp) (May 2005). From the Center for Teaching Quality, a research-based advocacy organization.  

If you have questions about these National Board Certified Teacher Summits, e-mail Susan Carmon, NEA Teacher Quality department.