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Is The State's Financial Investment In Teachers Paying Off?

Posted November 21, 2001

— Teachers must meet standards to show they not only know what they are teaching, but how to teach.

On Tuesday,

the state announced

that a record 1,260 teachers earned their certification by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, the most accepted symbol of teaching excellence in the United States.

North Carolina continues to lead the nation with a total of 3,667 teachers with National Board Certification, and there is good reason.

The state pays the $2,300 exam fee for teachers. Teachers who become certified get a 12 percent raise.

The question is, after the state invests in them, do the top teachers stay in North Carolina?

"We know it's paying off in increased effectiveness. Research shows that these are very effective teachers," said Mike Ward, state school superintendent.

Do the state's top teachers stay past the one-year requirement?

"When you've got small samples, drawing conclusions across those samples and making determinations too early can lead to misleading results," said Ward.

Ward said that he will ask for those numbers in the coming months, but insisted that the program is a good deal for taxpayers.

"As a teacher, it really shows that I go above and beyond for my students and so that's why you should continue to invest," said Tracey Failla, a newly certified teacher.

Ward said that North Carolina's benefits are a good incentive for teachers to stay in the state. A higher salary in another state could also be a good incentive to get the certification in North Carolina and move elsewhere.

It will not be known if paying for certification and offering benefits is a problem or a potential problem until the state receives those numbers.


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