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Charlotte Area

Certification of CMS teachers up, to play role in pay-for-performance

http://66.225.205.104/SO20100106.mp3

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has seen a surge this year in teachers certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. And it's likely this may be the only credential CMS will take into account as it moves toward a pay for performance model. WFAE's Simone Orendain reports: CMS says 221 teachers earned National Board Certification this year. In the past two school years, that number was around 160. Barbara Ann Temple is director of Teacher Professional Development at CMS. She says about 1,000 CMS teachers are currently going through the certification process- some of them renewals. Temple says the number went up recently because they'll soon have to pay their own way. "This is actually the last year the state is paying the $2,500 assessment fee. Beginning next year it will be self-funded on a loan-basis and the state's still working out details on the repayment," says Temple. To get board certification, teachers must submit at least 400 hours of their work for rigorous assessment. This includes video recordings and analysis of lessons they teach, documentation of student growth and completing six exercises related to the subjects they're certifying in. Superintendent Peter Gorman says even with the end of state funding, it's one credential that the district will continue to encourage teachers to seek. He says, "Our research has shown there is a positive impact for our students by their teachers going through the National Board certification process." Gorman says district data from three years ago shows students whose teachers had national certification outperformed students who didn't on year end testing. He says this will figure big in the district's plans to switch to a pay for performance salary structure. Gorman says by contrast, having a masters degree or seniority won't have any bearing. He says results of the most recent district study on board certified teachers are due out in February. While the district has a significant number- more than 1,200- of certified teachers, Gorman says not enough of them are in schools that are struggling academically.