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For Release: June 12, 2003


JAMES E. MCGREEVEY

Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Micah Rasmussen
PHONE: 609-777-2600

DATE: June 12, 2003

MCGREEVEY ANNOUNCES NEW INCENTIVES FOR NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFICATION FOR TEACHERS

Announcement Fulfills Key Component of McGreevey 21-point Education Reform Agenda

(TRENTON) As part of his ongoing commitment to education as the cornerstone of the McGreevey Administration, Governor James E. McGreevey, in collaboration with Commissioner of Education William L. Librera, the Business Coalition of Educational Excellence (BCEE) at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), today announced a series of incentives for teachers to seek National Board Certification.

"When I took office, I established National Board Certification as a key component of my administration’s 21-point plan for education reform," Governor McGreevey said. "Today we take a major step forward in accomplishing that goal. Through this package we will be the first state in the nation to offer a comprehensive program which not only enables teachers to obtain the highest level of recognition in their profession, but also provides our children with the best educators possible."

The three components of the incentive program announced by the Governor, in collaboration with the DOE, BCEE and National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, are as follows:

  • Funded through the state’s FY04 budget and some federal dollars, the program will defray a portion of the National Board application fee of $2300. Teachers will receive 75% of the application fee at the beginning of the process and will receive the remaining 25% of the application fee upon attainment of the credential.
  • The second component provides for graduate credit for successful completion of the National Board certification process. This graduate credit will be applied to the salary guide, helping more qualified teachers become better compensated for their higher credential. In addition, four New Jersey institutions of higher education with graduate schools of education – Georgian Court College, Montclair State University, Rowan University and the College of New Jersey – are in the process of designing masters’ degree programs built upon the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards principles and certification process. It is anticipated that these instructional leadership degree programs will begin operating in 2004.
  • The third component provides for mentoring support for candidates seeking National Board certification, from New Jersey teachers who have already been certified, with financing from the business community.

Additionally, the DOE will work to adopt regulations that provide reciprocity for teachers from other states who have National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certification and want to move to and teach in New Jersey.

The National Board certification provides an excellent model for how high quality professional development should be provided, said Commissioner Librera, who provided the closing remarks.

"Research tells us that highly qualified teachers are among the most important factors in raising student achievement," Librera said. "The National Board certification process is one of the most valuable ways that teachers can improve the quality of instruction. We want our teachers to continue their education, just as we want our children to receive the best education available for them."

"To date, New Jersey has 50 teachers who have achieved national board certification," the Commissioner said. "Our aim is to increase exponentially the number of New Jersey teachers who are National Board Certified and to support those teachers who seek this valuable credential. Better teachers make for better students. We’re privileged this program provides for both."

The announcement is part of a historic partnership between the BCEE, NBPTS, several New Jersey-based colleges and universities, the Department of Education (DOE) and the McGreevey Administration.

The Governor and Commissioner Librera were joined by Donna Wilson, president of the Eastern Region of Washington Mutual Inc.; Joseph A. Aguerrebere Jr., president of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; and Jaymie Reeber-Kosa, a National Board Certified elementary school teacher from West Windsor/Plainsboro.

Also attending in support of this initiative were Barbara Gittenstein, president of The College of New Jersey; Terry O'Connor, dean of The College of New Jersey; Carol Sharp, dean of Rowan University; Ada Beth Cutler, dean of Montclair State University; John Groves, dean of Georgian Court College; William Seaton, vice president and provost of Thomas Edison State College; and Sonja Eveslage, dean of Thomas Edison State College.

For more information about the BCEE, an association of New Jersey business leaders, educators, and policymakers committed to ensuring that all children achieve at high levels, become productive citizens and are well-prepared to function successfully in the workplace, visit www.bcee.org.

For more information about the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan and nongovernmental organization governed by a 63-member board of directors, please visit www.nbpts.org.

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