Number of board-certified SFUSD teachers continues to grow 

click to enlarge Becoming board-certified is one significant way that our professional educators put their teaching practice to the test and demonstrate mastery. - AP FILE PHOTO
  • AP file photo
  • Becoming board-certified is one significant way that our professional educators put their teaching practice to the test and demonstrate mastery.

Tonight, we will be honoring 38 San Francisco Unified School District teachers.

These teachers will be applauded for becoming our newest National Board-certified teachers. It's the biggest group of SFUSD teachers ever to achieve this status.

Best of all, with 252 board-certified teachers now working in our district, we are growing at a faster rate than the national average.

Becoming board-certified is one significant way that our professional educators put their teaching practice to the test and demonstrate mastery.

Teachers get tested ... and tested some more

Let me tell you what these folks had to do to get this prestigious certification.

Like board-certified doctors and accountants, these teachers have met high standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, repeated self-assessment and peer review.

They built a portfolio that included student work samples, assignments, videos of their teaching and a detailed analysis of their work.

Most importantly, these teachers demonstrated an ability to meet the needs of our diverse students and showed that they actively collaborate with the learning community -- not just in school -- but also outside the school walls.

What do our teachers say?

Here are some of the things our National Board-certified teachers have told me:

"It made me analyze my work much more closely than I ever have before. Seeing a videotape of myself conducting a class was eye-opening."

"I saw the structures in place that worked for class participation, but didn't work so much for students still learning English. I made some changes, and they are really taking part now."

"I teach history, and this certification made me study more history than I ever had before!"

Does it help students?

A national study found that students with National Board-certified teachers made larger academic gains on average than those who did not. And the SFUSD is participating in new study using our own test scores and other data to confirm what previous studies in other school districts have shown: National Board certification is rigorous and worth the effort.

Richard A. Carranza is the superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.

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