The Education Innovator #20
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The Education Innovator
 July 14, 2003 • Number 20
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What's inside...
American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence
What's New
OII sponsors Innovations in Education Exchange on Teaching American History; RNT has revised its National Teacher Recruitment Clearinghouse website.
Innovations in the News
Up to 40 new charter schools could be built in New York City in the coming decade due to a donation from Bill Gates; plus information on charter schools, virtual schools, school choice and supplemental services.

American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence Creates Pathways into the Profession
This year a new teacher certification process will be launched that will help states, districts, and communities meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind by credentialing prospective teachers and providing advanced credentialing for experienced teachers.

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) created The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (The American Board) in September 2001 in partnership with Education Leaders Council (ELC). Recognizing the need to place a highly qualified teacher in every classroom, the American Board aims to develop teaching credentials that are portable, time efficient, and cost effective. By creating new pathways along which interested professionals can enter teaching, the American Board helps states, districts, and communities meet the requirements of NCLB of placing a highly qualified teacher in every classroom and reducing barriers to entrance into the teaching field.

The vehicle for meeting these needs is the Passport to Teaching Certification. The Passport focuses on recent graduates, mid-career changers, and those teachers with temporary licenses. The process will enable them to gain certification through satisfactory completion of two tests:

  • Professional Teaching Knowledge Exam: This exam is required of all candidates for Passport to Teaching Certification. It includes an essay, along with questions about effective assessments, instructional techniques, and classroom management.
  • Content Area Knowledge Exam: This exam will give candidates the option to earn certification in one or all of the following areas: Elementary Education, Secondary (6-12) Mathematics or English, with additional areas to be developed in the future. (The elementary education exam, along with the professional teaching knowledge exam, will be offered for the first time late this summer.)
To prepare candidates for the tests, the Board offers a self-assessment, access to online resources, and other study material.

Passport to Teaching Certification candidates will also be required to demonstrate instructional experience by documenting work in teaching-related activities. For experienced teachers, the Board will offer the Master Teacher Certification that will provide a credential of distinguished achievement for teachers with subject area proficiency, measured by a rigorous content exam and a track record of excellence as demonstrated by student achievement. This link between classroom experience and student gain will distinguish American Board certification from other nationally recognized master teacher programs.

Funded with a grant from the Office of Innovation and Improvement, The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence has streamlined the process by which individuals outside of the education profession can gain access. State Educational Agencies will benefit greatly by having an increased pool of highly qualified teaching candidates for school districts. For more information about The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, please visit: Click here to read a March speech by Secretary Paige about the American Board.


What's New
From OII

OII sponsored the second Innovations in Education Exchange on July 10th. The discussion was on teaching American history. Secretary Rod Paige keynoted the event and presenters included John Bridgeland, Director of USA Freedom Corps; Cynthia Mostoller, U.S. history teacher; Reuben Zepeda of the Los Angeles American History Institute; and Mike Serber from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. A program for the event can be found at

Teacher Quality

Recruiting New Teachers, Inc. (RNT) has revised and updated its National Teacher Recruitment Clearinghouse website at Additional information is now available about alternate routes to teacher certification. The clearinghouse has been supported by a grant administered by OII.


Innovations in the News

Charter Schools
Up to 40 new charter schools could be built in New York City in the coming decade due to a donation from Bill Gates. [More-The New York Post] (July 3)

Charter schools offer education on par with that available from standard public schools, a RAND study shows. The study also found that charter schools are typically not as well funded as traditional public schools. [More-The Sacramento Bee (Calif.)] (July 1)

Virtual Schools
Thousands have flocked to the Jefferson County, KY school system's e-school, mirroring a national demand for online education. [More-The Louisville Courier-Journal] (July 3)

Texas Universities have recognized the need to communicate through a new, members-only communications program called Internet2. Members of the e-learning environment will include all public and private K-12 schools and institutions of higher education in Texas. The network will allow users to share equipment and research, access digital libraries and interact with virtual environments. [More-The Battalion] (July 7)

School Choice
Cincinnati, OH eighth-graders will select which high school they would like to attend from 17 available in the district—a departure from the traditional way of assigning students to the high school closest to them. The new process is part of a plan by the district to remake its large neighborhood high schools into smaller units that capture and maintain students' interest. [More-The Cincinnati Post] (July 1)

A new online program will make it easier for parents to compare and rate New York City's public schools. Parents will be able to compare student test scores, the level of experience and credentials of teachers, faculty absence rate, student attendance, percentage of students receiving free lunch and dropout rates. [More-The New York Post] (July 7)

Supplemental Services
Parents in Philadelphia, PA are starting to see the benefits of the No Child Left Behind Act. Letters were sent out to parents informing them of available supplemental education services. Entrepreneurs are taking advantage of this new market as well. [] (July 7)


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Last Modified: 04/26/2011