Program for Educators Supported by Business Hits LandmarkSeptember 27, 2018
20 years. $170,000. Scores of Kansas teachers helped to achieve one of the most prestigious accomplishments a teacher can achieve: national board certification.
“Reflection is key in this process.” said Alvin Peters, director of the Great Plains Center for National Teacher Certification based at Emporia State University’s Jones Institute for Educational Excellence.
Each year usually anywhere from 30 to 50 teachers come to an orientation session to find out about the process and “determine if and how they can do what must be done as a national board candidate,” Peters said. This year Peters has more than 60 teachers beginning the process.
To provide materials and pay for travel expenses, for the past 20 years, the Great Plains Center has received support from State Farm, who has given $170,000 to the program since 1999.
“With the increased interest in national board certification, the financial support from State Farm truly makes a difference. State Farm’s generosity and commitment serve as an excellent example of how the partnership between private and public funding sources provides access to the academy for all teachers in the state,” said Dr. Ken Weaver, Dean of The Teachers College.
“State Farm is proud to join NBPTS to recognize and support teachers who are dedicated and committed to education excellence,” said Pete Euler, a State Farm agent in Emporia. “I am proud to have been given the opportunity to present the grant on behalf of the Great Plains Center and have enjoyed the partnership.”
Euler played a major role in advancing the original ESU proposal to the State Farm Foundation Kansas-Oklahoma regional office in Tulsa. Euler has continued to support the center’s proposals to the State Farm Foundation.
Over the years, the program has grown from offering support for first-time candidates, to now providing:
- advanced candidate support – for candidates who may not have reached the destination of completing or becoming a national board certified teacher (teachers have three years to earn successful scores)
- renewal candidate support – national board certification lasts for 10 years, if a teacher wants to remain an NBCT, s/he has to once again submit materials and documentation about their work as a professional educator
- expanding NBCT leadership in Kansas – supporting educators to further their efforts as advocates for their profession
This year approximately 61 teachers from across Kansas attended orientations led by Peters in Emporia, Hays, and Topeka; the teachers will receive assistance from the Great Plains Center as they work towards their certification. For more information about the NBPTS program at ESU, visit https://www.emporia.edu/teach/great-plains/.
NBPTS was created in 1987 after the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy’s Task Force on Teaching as a Profession released A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century. Shortly after its release, NBPTS issued its first policy statement: “What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do.” This policy established the Five Core Propositions:
- Proposition 1: Teachers are Committed to Students and Their Learning
- Proposition 2: Teachers Know the Subjects They Teach and How to Teach Those Subjects to Students
- Proposition 3: Teachers are Responsible for Managing and Monitoring Student Learning
- Proposition 4: Teachers Think Systematically about Their Practice and Learn from Experience
- Proposition 5: Teachers are Members of Learning Communities
In a congressionally mandated study, National Board Certification was recognized by the National Research Council as having a positive impact on student achievement, teacher retention, and professional development.