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Every Child Deserves Our Best

Recommendations from North Carolina's National Board Certified Teachers

This report, published by NEA, the North Carolina Association of Educators, and the Center for Teacher Quality, is a provocative list of ideas and policy recommendations that came out of a day-long summit of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) from across North Carolina. The recommendations summarize the need for accomplished teachers, administrative and teacher leadership, and adequate resources to meet the learning needs of students.

The main points of the report are as follows:

1. Ensure that all administrators will use the skills and knowledge of NBCTs and other accomplished teachers

Accomplished teachers cannot have a positive impact on any school unless they are given the latitude to use their expertise. We need to find more ways to have accomplished teachers work in partnership with administrators to solve teaching and learning problems.

2. Create opportunities for all teachers to teach effectively in high-needs schools

We already know some of what's needed to be effective in schools that serve high-needs populations -- smaller class sizes, better equipment (such as science lab supplies) and books, and curriculum and instructional supports.

On top of these basics, NBCTs and other accomplished teachers who work in high-needs school need to be able to use their own professional expertise as well as have access to new technologies and more time to work with their colleagues in analyzing student work, planning lessons, and building better relationships with students and families.

Recommendations: Give NBCTs and other accomplished teachers in high-needs schools the flexibility to use research-based practices that go beyond scripted curricula. Provide additional teacher-driven professional development in high-needs schools that addresses the needs of second language and other diverse learners. Provide protected, uninterrupted, common planning time of 7 hours per week per teacher so colleagues can share ideas, materials, activities, etc., by teams, subject areas, and grade levels.

3. Develop NBCTs as leaders for high-needs schools

NBCTs are proven teaching experts. “Going through the National Board process pushes teachers to think about their teaching and make better decisions for their students, but that does not automatically make them ready to be teacher leaders for a highneeds school.”

Allow NBCTs to serve as full-time mentors, coaches, or in other specified school leadership positions without losing their 12 percent salary incentive.

4. Create an array of incentives to attract NBCTs and other accomplished teachers to high-needs schools

if policy makers want to attract accomplished teachers to high-needs schools, they need to do more than offer financial incentives, which are necessary but not sufficient. More professional development, smaller class sizes, additional teaching assistants, and an array of financial perquisites should be put on the table. stigma of working in a low-performing school

that the incentives needed to recruit and retain a well-prepared 22-year-old novice to a high-needs school is not the same as the incentives required to attract and retain a 45-year-old National Board Certified Teacher or a 58-yearold retired teacher who could be lured back into service. A younger teacher may want a salary bonus while an older one may want to beef up his or her retirement package.

Among the recommendations: Create an array of incentives for different NBCTs and other accomplished teachers to consider in order to move to high-needs schools—including retention bonuses, relocation reimbursement, tuition-free advanced degrees at state universities, housing subsidies (mortgage reduction, teacher housing villages, etc.), state income tax credits, state university scholarships for children of recruited and retained teachers, and early retirement incentives (if teachers go to and stay in high-needs schools for at least five years).

5. Create the conditions to develop NBCTs inside of high-needs schools

North Carolina needs a specific program to grow and utilize NBCTs from within high-needs school communities.

Recommendation: Provide opportunities for new and/or underprepared (e.g., lateral entry) teachers to team-teach with NBCTs for their first year.

6. Build awareness among policy makers, practitioners, and the public about the importance of National Board Certification in the service of high-needs schools.

a comprehensive plan for North Carolina school districts that invests federal, state, and local dollars in the most effective strategies to address the problems. In addition, too few policy makers and local education leaders understand what NBCTs know and can do—both in determining how students need to be taught and in shaping policies and programs that will successfully recruit and retain good teachers for our most challenging teaching and learning environments

Recommendation: Expect each state-elected public official and/or lawmaker to spend time with NBCTs and other accomplished teachers, both in school settings and at the policy table.


Every Child Deserves Our Best (PDF, 1 MB, 28pp).