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New Report Calls on National Board Certified Teachers to Make Their Voices Heard in Education Research and Policy Arenas

2008-07-17 14:29:00

    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Teachers are uniquely positioned to challenge this outdated perception of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


    "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


    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 For more information about NBPTS and National

Board Certification, visit the NBPTS Web site at

    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


    [email protected]

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