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First-Ever National Board Certification(R) for America's Health Educators Arrives
Date:3/10/2008

Teaching's top credential available in health education

ARLINGTON, Va., March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a first for America's teaching quality movement, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards(R) (NBPTS(R)) has announced new assessments that will accurately identify the nation's top teachers in health education.

"Our nation's best teachers of health education know that effective school health education programs, focusing on physical, mental, emotional and social health, assist all students in realizing their full potential as learners," said Joseph A. Aguerrebere, NBPTS president and CEO. "A critical mass of health educators will now have access to National Board Certification which will ultimately result in strengthening educator effectiveness and advancing student learning. In addition, the health standards extend to institutions of higher education and those who provide professional development."

The Health Education certificate is the latest addition to the National Board Certification process that describes and certifies what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. The goal of the new certificate is to provide accomplished teachers with a way to document that they know and use the best methods to develop in students the critical skills they need to make good decisions about diet and nutrition; tobacco, alcohol and drug use; sexual behavior; and other potentially harmful behaviors. The credential is now available for teachers whose students are between 11 and 18-plus years old.

"In addition, the Health Education Standards extend to institutions of higher education and those who provide professional development as a blueprint for accomplished teaching," added Aguerrebere.

"Healthy children learn better," said Becky Smith, executive director, American Association for Health Education. "I applaud NBPTS for establishing board certification for health educators. The ultimate winners are students across the nation who will benefit from a growing number of teachers seeking and achieving National Board Certification in this critical field of study."

"This announcement is good news for educators, parents and children nationwide," said Ric Loya, chair, NBPTS Health Education Standards Committee. "Health educators who successfully meet the requirements of the National Board Certification process will learn to help students make better choices and live healthier lives." Loya is the coordinating teacher adviser of the HIV/AIDS Prevention Unit for the Los Angeles Unified School District and was a high school health teacher for more than 30 years.

Like board-certified doctors and accountants, teachers who achieve National Board Certification have met rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review. Teachers who achieve certification in health education will incorporate concepts from all other aspects of learning and life to enrich health knowledge, helping students understand that many health-related topics are important daily issues in society.

In December, NBPTS announced that 8,491 teachers achieved National Board Certification in 2007, an 8.6 percent increase over the number of teachers who earned certification in 2006. This achievement marked the largest one-year increase of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) in the history of the organization.

The number of NBCTs has nearly tripled in the past five years (from 23,930 in 2002 to nearly 64,000 in 2007). Twenty-five states, including the District of Columbia, had at least a 20 percent increase in the number of 2007 NBCTs compared to the number of teachers who achieved certification in 2006.

National Board Certification is a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize and reward accomplished teachers. While state licensing systems set basic requirements to teach in each state, NBCTs have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices. Certification is achieved through a rigorous, performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete.

As part of the process, teachers build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, video recordings and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching. Additionally, teachers are assessed on their knowledge of the subjects they teach.

All 50 states, the District of Columbia and more than 700 local school districts recognize National Board Certification as a mark of distinction. For more information about NBPTS and National Board Certification, visit the NBPTS Web site at http://www.nbpts.org.

About NBPTS

Created by educators and policymakers in 1987, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan and nongovernmental organization. NBPTS advances the quality of teaching and learning by developing professional standards for accomplished teaching; creating and administering National Board Certification, a voluntary system to certify teachers who meet those standards; and integrating certified teachers into educational reform efforts. Today, nearly 64,000 National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) are making a positive difference in the lives of students across the nation.

CONTACT: James R. Minichello

703-465-2171

jminichello@nbpts.org


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SOURCE National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
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