- Associated Press - Friday, December 26, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - In the 2013-2014 school year, 198 teachers in Mississippi achieved the National Board Certification, according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

The Clarion-Ledger reports (http://on.thec-l.com/1JS1B1D ) that places Mississippi at seventh in in the nation in numbers of certified teachers.

“I commend Mississippi for its strong commitment to building a world-class teaching workforce. By supporting every new and aspiring teacher to pursue Board certification through their World Class Teaching Program, Mississippi will come to be an example to the nation of how to make a difference for students and the teaching profession,” said Ronald Thorpe, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Gov. Phil Bryant said research shows a connection between student achievement and teacher quality.

Bryant’s goal is to increase the number of broad certified teachers 25 percent by 2018. Board certified teachers can receive as much as a $6,000 raise.

“We know that teacher quality is a critical component of student achievement, and increasing the number of board certified teachers in Mississippi classrooms is an important way to improve education outcomes in our state,” Bryant said in a statement.

Three Mississippi universities ranked among the top 25 in the nation for new National Board Certified teachers - University of Southern Mississippi at sixth, Mississippi State University tied for 15th and the University of Mississippi at 22nd.

The top five school districts statewide by total number of teachers certified are: Rankin County with 182, DeSoto County with 133, Madison County with 123, Jackson Public Schools with 119 and Tupelo Public Schools with 111.

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Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com

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