Local News

Wake teachers lead country in board certification

Posted March 18, 2013

Wake County Public School System

— Wake County public school teachers continue to be at the top of the class when it comes to national certification.

About 22 percent of teachers in the Wake County Public School System hold National Board Certification – more than any other district in the country.

Nationwide, only 3 percent of teachers have obtained certification, which is given to those who meet a rigorous set of professional standards.

Coordinator Carolann Wade says the certification process is about raising the bar in the classroom. Better teachers generally add up to smarter students, she said.

There’s also an incentive: Board-certified teachers get a 12 percent salary supplement.

“That's good for our system and our state because that means we attract more accomplished teachers to stay in our district,” Wade said.

Leigh Ann Alford is one of those teachers. In her fifth year in the classroom, the civics teacher is energized and engaged. Even students give her high marks.

Leigh Ann Alford Wake teachers at the top of their class

“She simplifies it so it’s interesting to understand and relates it to things that are currently happening,” student Katrina Brown said of Alford’s teaching style.

Alford recently earn national certification and said the lengthy process requires teachers to produce four portfolios of work, videotape classroom instruction and undergo assessments and reviews.

Certification can take up to three years and cost the teacher about $2,500. Only 35 percent of teachers pass the certification on the first try.

“Wake County really puts an emphasis on the fact this can improve teachers' practice,” Alford said.

She said her own approach to teaching has improved since gaining certification, and so has her relationship with students' parents.

“I started a class website that I update daily,” she said. “The parents really like to look.”

Alford cites the district's support and encouragement for certification as one of the reasons she's staying put in the classroom.

26 Comments

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  • whatelseisnew Mar 19, 4:22 p.m.

    " Look at the state salary scale. You can work 30 years and barely break $60,000. Those of you talking about how well teachers are paid are sorely misinformed."

    First of all you are talking salary and not including benefits and such. Second you are ignoring the added cost of having to provide the workplace and operating costs of the workplace. this in part is why I want to see the dollars go with the students so we stop creating this massively expensive ineffective system that we have.

  • whatelseisnew Mar 19, 4:20 p.m.

    "That is far less than other professions requiring the same education level"

    A teaching degree is not as difficult to achieve as other degrees. Also, possession of a degree does not mean the person can teach. Even with great teachers though, our public system has been broken by Government stupidity. We need serious changes in our State Constitution. The obligation is to provide an educational opportunity. The constitution needs to be changed to put REQUIREMENTS and Responsibilities on the Students. At the high school level if Students PURPOSELY do not meet the requirements and take ownership of the responsibilities, then they should be removed from the system. At the same time we have to break apart the monopoly of this system, meaning dollars go with the Students. It is time for the public system to have to compete.

  • Plenty Coups Mar 19, 3:27 p.m.

    relic-"Waaa waaa. Teachers have good pay and benefit compared to other jobs in this state."

    Your post is ridiculous. It takes a teacher 30 plus years to hit 50 thousand a year in NC. That is far less than other professions requiring the same education level. The healthcare is terrible. It costs a teacher $291 just to walk into an ER then pay deductible, plus 30%. But you really aren't interested in knowing the truth, you just want to bash teachers because of "unions" (though there aren't any here) and because you're apparently anti-public education.

  • LuvLivingInCary Mar 19, 1:18 p.m.

    personally i'd get a masters...that's way more valuable.

  • whistler411 Mar 19, 1:16 p.m.

    Yes. The 12% is the real reason. It's nearly the only way to move one's salary up since step raises have been virtually eliminated. Look at the state salary scale. You can work 30 years and barely break $60,000. Those of you talking about how well teachers are paid are sorely misinformed.

  • OGE Mar 19, 12:44 p.m.

    "There’s also an incentive: Board-certified teachers get a 12 percent salary supplement."

    Yeah- thats the real reason.

    If you ever look at the certification packages there isnt a ton there that would make a better teacher. There arent fact based exams about their knowledge areas. Its video tapping their lectures and going to teacher in-service classes.

    glarg

    Give it a try Big Girl!!

  • Relic Mar 19, 11:49 a.m.

    And at the bottom of the list for pay!

    Waaa waaa. Teachers have good pay and benefit compared to other jobs in this state. I'm so tired of people comparing salaries with states with unions/blackmailers. Stop whining.

  • Relic Mar 19, 11:48 a.m.

    And they almost lead with the worst pay. Maybe someday they'll stand up for themselves and forget that there's no union here and strike

    PLEASE try it!!! PLEASE! I would LOVE for people who talk "Union, union" to see just how much people in NC would NOT support any strike by any public employee! I'd close the schools until new teachers could be hired first before ANY union EVER has a foothold in this state. NOBODY HONEST AND WITH HONOR would ever be part of a union, especially one affiliated with the biggest "mob" in the US, the AFL-CIO and Teamsters.

  • glarg Mar 19, 11:45 a.m.

    "There’s also an incentive: Board-certified teachers get a 12 percent salary supplement."

    Yeah- thats the real reason.

    If you ever look at the certification packages there isnt a ton there that would make a better teacher. There arent fact based exams about their knowledge areas. Its video tapping their lectures and going to teacher in-service classes.

  • RadioDJ Mar 19, 10:08 a.m.

    And yet, most of the posters here are certifiable. Makes you wonder why they are so against it if you are a teacher? Wait, I just answered my own question.

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