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Oklahoma Ranks Ninth In Board Certified Teachers

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahoma ranks No. 9 nationally for teachers who have received National Board Certification. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards said Tuesday that more than 400 Oklahoma teachers have received certification this year through a rigorous assessment including video recordings of their classroom instruction.

Nearly 5% of Oklahoma teachers, or 1,995 instructors, have become board certified.

The Oklahoma districts with the most board certified teachers are Tulsa, 109; Norman, 95; and Edmond, 93. Oklahoma City has 69 board certified teachers and Lawton has 46.

``We're proud that we're in the top nine,'' state schools Superintendent Sandy Garrett said. ``This is good news not only for (the teachers) but for the students served by their schools.''

Nearly 64,000 teachers are board certified nationwide.

Last year, 282 Oklahoma teachers received the certification. This year, 439 teachers did, a 56% increase, the sixth-highest increase of all states.

Teachers who become certified go through a knowledge- and skills-assessment process that takes from one to three years. Board certified teachers who teach in public schools in Oklahoma get a $5,000 annual bonus. The Legislature has provided funds since 1998 to cover that cost, as well as money to help pay for application fees. This year that funding totals $10.7 million.

``The Legislature is fairly committed to that and yes, it is a great deal of money, but we consider it one of the greatest ways in Oklahoma that we can reward merit,'' Garrett said.

National Board Certification sets a higher bar for minimum requirements than state certification.

``Like board-certified doctors and accountants, teachers who achieve National Board Certification have met rigorous standards,'' said Joseph A. Aguerrebere, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

According to the standards group, research shows that those higher standards yield higher results in the classroom.
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