USM Ranked as a Top Spot for National Board Certification
My alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi, was recently ranked sixth in the entire nation for producing National Board Certified Teachers.
National Board Certification is basically the gold standard when it comes to educators and was developed over 25 years ago to give teachers goals to achieve beyond state requirements. To earn this certification, teachers have to take a series of written assessments, submit student work samples, agree to an analysis of teaching practices, and prove through documented evidence that the teacher has accomplished much professionally. In general, earning National Board Certification takes about one year to complete.
The Teacher Program at the University of Southern Mississippi is clearly doing an excellent job preparing teaching candidates for their professions. In a state that ranks consistently at the bottom of educational performance for K-12 students nationwide, it is refreshing to see some sort of good educational news emerging. Earning these National Board Certifications is just the start, though. These teachers need to reinvest that knowledge and those skill sets in the students of the state of Mississippi and not take their talents elsewhere.
I think an incentive program that focuses on attracting National Board Certified educators and keeping graduates from USM and other colleges and universities around the state within its borders would go a long way toward helping K-12 students rise in the educational achievement ranks. If we want the next generation of Mississippi students to thrive, we need to start by providing these kids with top-notch educators. What better way to do that than by employing the teachers that graduate from our state?