Teachers Flood New Program 1,762 Work toward National Certification

By Saunders, Jim | The Florida Times Union, January 8, 1999 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Teachers Flood New Program 1,762 Work toward National Certification


Saunders, Jim, The Florida Times Union


TALLAHASSEE -- Denise Harbin, a teacher at Jacksonville's Robert E. Lee High School, likes the idea of making thousands of dollars a year in extra pay.

But when Harbin decided to seek a national teaching certification that could bring bonuses of about $7,000 a year, she said she was motivated by more than money: Harbin wanted to go through the challenging process to become a better teacher.

"I'm in my 13th year of teaching, so I have a long way to go," Harbin said yesterday. "And I don't want to become stale."

Banking on a new state law that promises extra pay if teachers prove their talents, Harbin is one of 1,762 teachers throughout Florida who have poured into a national-certification program in recent months.

The level of interest has stunned state officials such as Sen. Jim Horne, R-Orange Park, who helped push the law through the Legislature last year. During the 1997-98 school year, before the law took effect, only 13 Florida teachers applied for the certification.

"We anticipated maybe 500 to 1,000 [applications]," Horne said. "So we were extremely excited."

Lawmakers, who set aside $12 million for the program, passed the law after years of debate about whether teachers should be paid based on their skills and performance. In the program, teachers apply to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, a Michigan-based non-profit group, and go through months of performance reviews.

Backers of the program said it will lead to better teachers in the state's schools, at least in part because of the rigorous review that applicants must undergo. Among other things, they have to take written tests and submit portfolios that include videotapes of their classes.

"Truly, only the best actually achieve the award," said Andy Ford, president of Duval Teachers United, a union that has tried to build support for the program with its members.

With the huge number of applicants, however, a House committee this week questioned whether Florida has budgeted enough money for the program. The $12 million is targeted for the 1998-99 fiscal year, which ends in June.

But Horne said the state will spend far less than $12 million, in part, because it won't pay the bonuses until after the fiscal year ends. He said he is confident lawmakers will set aside another $12 million for 1999-2000, an amount that could be combined with this year's leftover money.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Teachers Flood New Program 1,762 Work toward National Certification
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?