Louisiana teacher certification declines

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Just 54 teachers in

Louisiana achieved certification in 2012 from a well-regarded national

teaching organization.

The Advocate reported the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced the results

Monday. The totals are down from 102 in 2011 and 148 in 2010.

Louisiana's peak for nationally certified teachers was 250 teachers in 2005.

Nationally, the trend is similar. A total of 4,930 teachers earned the certification in 2012, compared with 6,266 in 2011

and 8,600 the year before that.

The downward trend is likely to continue, at least in Louisiana.

Michelle Accardi, director of state policy and outreach, said the number of new Louisiana applicants for certification for

2013 is down 60 percent from where it was a year ago.

Accardi noted that the poor economy has

probably made it harder for teachers to afford the $2,500 fee associated

with national

board certification. Also, she said Louisiana has made many

changes in public education, including a new teacher evaluation

system, and many teachers may lack the time to participate.

"It would be hard to have to carve out that kind of time," she said.

As the numbers have declined, the Louisiana Department of Education has ceased promoting the annual numbers as it used to

through its public affairs office.

In response to the economic downturn, many

states, including Louisiana, have cut back their support for the

program. An Education

Week survey in 2012 found the number of states offering a stipend

for the certification declined from 39 to 24.

In 2010, Louisiana quit paying its annual $5,000 stipend, instead shifting that expense onto school districts.

In 2008, a dozen school districts offered complementary stipends, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, to national board-certified

teachers but most of those have been cut back or eliminated since.

A total of 102,327 teachers have earned the certification since the program began in North Carolina in 1987. Louisiana has

contributed 1,838 of those teachers.