Talked to Teachers and Officials About Raising Teaching Standards
SOUTHERN MARYLAND - On Monday, September 20, Congressman Steny Hoyer met with Maryland's Board Certified Teachers from Charles, Calvert and St. Mary's Counties and representatives from the State, the Southern Maryland counties, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, to discuss Maryland's efforts to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers.
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) improves student learning by creating a voluntary teacher certification system that states can use to identify highly accomplished teachers. Congressman Hoyer sits on the House Appropriations Subcommittee that provides funding for the NBPTS, and has championed their funding for several years. There are currently approximately 23 Board Certified teachers in Southern Maryland.
"In addition to hearing about Maryland's participation with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, I was pleased to hear firsthand from teachers in Southern Maryland who have undergone the process to become Board Certified teachers. I was impressed by the individual stories and the impact that Board-Certification and the certification process has played on their educational careers. This program plays an important role in our communities by providing specific benefits for our educators and by helping the state and local jurisdictions identify and continue to recruit and retain high quality teachers.
"With an increased focus on raising educational standards, the tools we provide our nation's teachers are more critical than ever before. By strengthening teaching skills in our classrooms and working to raise teaching standards, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards directly impacts and improves student academic achievement.
"Furthermore, Board-Certified teachers are often able to utilize their advanced skills to improve the educational system overall by transitioning into policy-making or administrative positions.
"Despite President Bush's repeated efforts to eliminate funding for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and the fact that he proposed a budget this year that would have eliminated all funding for this important program, I am pleased that the House of Representatives included $10 million for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards for Fiscal Year 2005. I will continue to work to ensure that this funding remains in the final version of this bill.
"The information I have learned here today will be a powerful resource for me in Washington to better inform my colleagues about the importance of Board-Certification and the benefits it provides to our teachers, and to advocate for adequate funding for the NBPTS in the future."