New York State Albert Shanker Grant for National Board Certification
As a constituent and a teacher, I urge you to support teachers' opportunities for self-directed and meaningful professional growth by increasing funding to $1 million for the New York State Albert Shanker Grant for National Board Certification. The Albert Shanker Grant was established to defray the costs of National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification for eligible New York State public school teachers. The New York State Education Department, through the Albert Shanker Grant, makes funding available to support public school teachers who are seeking their first National Board Certification.
This funding will increase access, from 138 to 400 teachers per year, to this research-based, high-quality professional program for first time candidates. Of the approximately 241,000 teachers in New York State, less than one percent have earned National Board Certification. If only 138 teachers per year are provided access to this program, it will take 514 years to certify 50 percent of New York's teachers. These funds will also support National Board programs that are district based.
In previous years, funding for this program has been exhausted. We cannot afford to underfund this program and deny access for teachers in New York State who are looking to improve their professional practice.
National Board Certified Teachers across New York State provide ongoing benefits to their students, schools and communities. Research on the benefits of National Board Certification is clear. The positive impact of having a National Board Certified teacher is even greater for minority and low-income students (Cavalluzzo, 2004; Goldhaber & Anthony, 2007). Harvard University's Strategic Data Project also reported that students of National Board Certified teachers in a large urban school district gained roughly the equivalent of two months of additional instruction in math and one month in English Language Arts (Strategic Data Project, 2012). Furthermore, numerous surveys show that National Board Certified teacher s attest that the National Board experience was some of the best professional development of their careers (Hunzicker, 2010). It is one of the few professional learning experiences that are job-embedded, where teachers work within the context of their own classrooms, with their own students in their content areas.
I ask that you raise this important issue in conference and urge your leadership to advocate for $1 million in funding for the Albert Shanker Grant for National Board Certification in this year's enacted budget to improve student learning through this outstanding teacher quality initiative.
I thank you for your continued support of the profession and for your consideration of this important issue. I would appreciate a reply to my correspondence.
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