By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
The University of Mississippi will host a summit today for the state’s teachers who have earned national distinction.
The event for National Board Certified Teachers will discuss the future of education. It will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the University of Mississippi Conference Center.
To earn the designation, teachers must submit an extensive portfolio reflecting upon their craft and videos of themselves in the classroom. Material is reviewed by judges.
The idea is to create national standards for the profession, and only about 40 percent of applicants earn certification on their first attempt.
Mississippi has 3,420 Board Certified Teachers, the seventh most in the country. Last year, the state had 101 newly certified teachers.
Today’s summit will feature Ron Thorpe, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and other speakers. Thorpe will discuss the importance of having a professional standards board for education.
“Part of the message is going to be how do we do this,” he said. “Is this what we want as a profession? Can we call ourselves a profession if 97 percent of our teachers are not accomplished according to a peer-reviewed process? Why don’t we insist on that?”
Jackie Parker coordinates Ole Miss’s World Class Teaching Program, which helps educators through the process of becoming board certified. She said the summit will discuss improving student achievement and the new teacher evaluation instrument.
“The purpose is to promote collegiality among National Board Certified Teachers in the state and to look at some issues and answers to education problems in our state,” she said.
About 10 percent of Mississippi’s teachers are board certified, compared to about 3 percent nationally. The state provides a $6,000 bonus to educators who earn the distinction.