South Carolina National Board: Right on Target

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Good for South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (R) who wants to provide greater incentives to National Board-certified teachers who agree to teach in poor and low-performing schools over choosing cushier assignments. Sanford is prepared to offer $7,500 a year to such teachers, compared to only $3,000 to other Board-certified teachers. Currently all Board-certified teachers in South Carolina receive $7,500 a year; Sanford's plan would allow current teachers to continue receiving this amount.

Sanford is tackling a big problem: the fact that you?re far more likely to find National Board teachers working in affluent schools than poor schools. Last year the research institute SRI studied the six states boasting the most National Board teachers, and found that high-poverty schools were rarely the recipients of their talents.

Targeted incentives for National Board teachers are currently being used in only four states?California, Connecticut, Illinois and New York?but the momentum is swinging that way. States have been overwhelmed by how costly these bonus programs have become with so many Board certified teachers; by targeting these bonuses, states are finding a reasonable escape clause that also happens to be good policy.