ARLINGTON, Va., July 17 /EMWNews/ -- It is time for National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) to lead our schools, colleagues and policymakers toward more effective decisions and practices focused on genuine student learning, said a new report calling on these outstanding educators to assume more prominent roles in education research and policy. The Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) commissioned a diverse group of 10 NBCTs from across the nation to consider the positive impact of National Board Certification(R) on students and the teaching profession. The resulting report, Measuring What Matters: The Effects of National Board Certification on Advancing 21st Century Teaching and Learning, directs recommendations primarily to researchers, policymakers and NBPTS. In an open letter to America's nearly 64,000 National Board Certified Teachers, authors of the report wrote, "We believe National Board Certified Teachers are uniquely positioned to challenge this outdated perception of teachers as mere instruments of policy and not co-creators. We cannot wait to be invited to the policy table. Nor can we wait for any organization or initiative to guide us, endorse us, or train us. We invite their support, but we must begin at once to find our own voices, to hone our core messages, and develop our own leadership ideas and muscle, both personally and collectively." "This TeacherSolutions report brings unique ideas to the debate over identifying effective teachers. It is aimed at helping policymakers learn from - and with - some of our nation's best classroom teachers," said Barnett Berry, president and CEO, CTQ. "This report unpacks the research on the National Board Certification process in ways that traditional education researchers and labor economists just do not know how to do." The TeacherSolutions Team includes: (team leader) Nancy Flanagan, NBCT (Michigan); Anthony Cody, NBCT (California); Susan Graham, NBCT (Virginia); Ellen Holmes, NBCT (Maine); Andy Kuemmel, NBCT (Wisconsin); Patrick Ledesma, NBCT (Virginia); Margarita Mendez, NBCT (California); Kimberly Oliver, NBCT (Maryland); Kathy Pham, NBCT (Florida); and Carolann Wade, NBCT (North Carolina). In addition to encouraging the collaboration of fellow NBCTs, the report's authors also present recommendations for NBPTS and the research and policy communities including calls for: -- Relevant studies to measure the effects of National Board Certification on student learning using multiple measures (e.g., authentic assessments, project-based learning products, student engagement, reduced discipline, drop-out rates) as well as the "snapshot" data resulting from standardized tests. -- Careful researchers to engage NBCTs themselves in the process of research study design and development in order to create more robust research models that include multiple measures of student growth. -- Policymakers to craft policy around specific goals, such as offering incentives and time for NBCTs to spread their instructional expertise to a wide range of colleagues, rather than focusing on simply producing more National Board Certified Teachers. -- Policymakers, who have already made significant investments in National Board Certification in many jurisdictions, to advocate for the expansion of leadership opportunities for all NBCTs and emphasize programs that increase the population of NBCTs who are teachers of color. -- NBPTS to engage in strategic partnering and communications that would make the mission, vision and work of NBPTS transparent to researchers, policymakers, and the general public. -- NBPTS to consider how education leaders can be made more cognizant of the potential power of the certification process to spread teaching expertise. "This report challenges National Board Certified Teachers to exert their leadership skills in school reform and professional development sectors and to build stronger partnerships with higher education," said Joseph A. Aguerrebere, president and CEO, NBPTS. "This report is in alignment with the vision and founders of the National Board, who believed that the National Board Certification process would serve as a catalyst for change in how we support, value and leverage accomplished teaching." "We all agree that the NBPTS process has triggered an ongoing national conversation about good teaching and opened the door to richer dialogue about specific aspects and outcomes of proficient practice," added Berry. "We believe National Board Certified Teachers are well positioned to model and lead their colleagues toward more forward-thinking practice," concluded the TeacherSolutions Team. "We know that National Board Certification is built upon the 'right stuff' - a rigorous but flexible foundation and template that can help America put together the teaching force we need to adapt to a changing world." National Board Certification: From a Great Idea to a Proven Reform Today's announcement comes at a time when the highly respected National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies recently affirmed that NBPTS has had a positive impact on student achievement, teacher retention and professional development. In the most rigorous and comprehensive study to date about National Board Certification, the NRC found that students taught by National Board Certified Teachers make higher gains on achievement tests than those taught by teachers who have not applied and those who did not achieve certification. The NRC also found that National Board Certification has a positive impact on teacher retention because National Board Certified Teachers are more likely to stay on the job longer than other teachers. In addition, the committee acknowledged that National Board Certification is an effective professional development experience that, teachers say, positively affects teaching practices. "Perhaps the most heartening, the NRC acknowledges that NBPTS Standards and National Board Certification have taken the culture of teaching to a higher level," said Aguerrebere. "The committee recognizes the large-scale, systemic potential of National Board Certification and observes that the National Board's work needs strong support and coordination by states, districts and schools as well as higher education and other non-governmental institutions." There are nearly 64,000 National Board Certified Teachers who have met rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review. All 50 states, the District of Columbia and more than 700 local school districts recognize National Board Certification as a mark of distinction, similar to the way the medical and accounting professions recognize expertise. National Board Certification is a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize and reward accomplished teachers. While state licensing systems set basic requirements to teach in each state, NBCTs have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices. Certification is achieved through a rigorous, performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete. As part of the process, teachers build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, video recordings and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching. Additionally, teachers are assessed on their knowledge of the subjects they teach. For a copy of Measuring What Matters, visit the CTQ Web site at http://www.teachingquality.org. For more information about NBPTS and National Board Certification, visit the NBPTS Web site at http://www.nbpts.org.
About CTQ The Center for Teaching Quality seeks to improve student learning and advance the teaching profession through cultivating teacher leadership, conducting timely research and crafting smart policy around what must be done to ensure that every student in America has a qualified, well-supported and effective teacher. Over the past ten years, CTQ's work-rooted in the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (1996) landmark report has sought to promote a coherent system of teacher recruitment, preparation, induction, professional development, compensation and school-design policies that could dramatically close the nation's student achievement gap. As a small nonprofit with big ideas and ambitions to promote a true teaching profession, CTQ has worked on a large range of research studies and policy development initiatives designed with the goal of spreading the expertise and elevating the voices of accomplished teachers so that their knowledge of students and schools can inform the next generation of teaching policies and practices. About NBPTS Created by educators and policymakers in 1987, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan and nongovernmental organization. NBPTS advances the quality of teaching and learning by developing professional standards for accomplished teaching; creating and administering National Board Certification, a voluntary system to certify teachers who meet those standards; and integrating certified teachers into educational reform efforts. Today, nearly 64,000 National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) are making a positive difference in the lives of students across the nation. CONTACT: James R. Minichello 703.465.2171 firstname.lastname@example.org
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