Huge Jump in Number of Black Teachers Winning Board Certification

One of the major reasons for racial inequality in higher education is that many blacks attend lower quality secondary schools and are not adequately prepared for college or for taking the standardized tests required for admission to many colleges. While inadequate funding is a major reason for the poor quality of many predominantly black schools, it is also difficult for these schools to attract the best teachers.

Now there is some good news on this front. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced a huge 24 percent increase in the number of African-American teachers who have become board certified over the past year. To become board certified, teachers must submit a portfolio of classroom work including two videotapes showing them leading a class. Candidates also have to pass a rigorous series of tests in their particular area of expertise in order to demonstrate a mastery of the subject matter.

This year, 403 African-American teachers received their board certification. This was up 24 percent from the 324 black teachers who won board certification a year ago. Overall the number of teachers achieving board certification was up 7 percent.

Nationwide there are now 2,510 African-American teachers who have become board certified. They make up 4.5 percent of the more than 55,000 teachers who have earned this credential.

The board believes that increasing the number of blacks who win certification will result in more high quality teachers being employed at predominantly black schools.