North Carolina and the Wake County school system continue to both lead the nation with the most teachers certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, according to new results released Monday.
The state now has 20,873 National Board-certified teachers, accounting for 19 percent of the country’s total. Statewide, 21 percent of public school teachers have this certification, which is considered the “gold standard” in the teaching profession.
Wake County is the top district in the nation, with 2,522 National Board-certified teachers. Wake has led the nation for 11 consecutive years.
North Carolina has historically led the nation in the number of certified teachers, in part because it comes with a 12 percent annual pay raise from the state.
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But Wake County school officials note that it takes significant time and effort to receive the certification and to renew it every 10 years.
This year, 23 Wake teachers earned certification and 109 teachers earned renewal. They’ll all be honored by Wake in a ceremony in March.
The number of teachers achieving certification could increase. Instead of having to complete it in one year, teachers in the future will have three years in a process that’s supposed to be more flexible and affordable.
Wake is also the first district in the nation to partner with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to create a program designed to support third-year teachers as they prepare to pursue board certification.