Education Week - September 18, 2013 - (Page 9)

EDUCATION WEEK n SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 9 n National-Board Certification to Be Cheaper, Smoother Teachers to get more leeway to earn seal By Stephen Sawchuk The organization overseeing advanced teacher certification in the United States plans to revise the assessment process for the credential and to make it less expensive for teachers to earn. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced last week that it would decrease the credential’s price tag by $600, give teachers more flexibility in completing the required assessments, and integrate new information into the certification process, including student surveys and measures of students’ academic progress. Fueled in part by a $3.7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the changes are meant to respond to a decade of new teacher-quality research and to address barriers to board certification. (The Gates Foundation also helps support coverage of business and K-12 innovation in Education Week.) About 102,000 U.S. teachers hold board certification. Best Practices Targeted The changes are among the first rolled out by Ronald Thorpe, who became the president and CEO of the national board in December 2011. Mr. Thorpe had vowed to boost the credential’s prestige and to elevate the role of the NBPTS as the definitive body setting standards for the teaching profession. The board’s status to that end had appeared to wane under policy changes focusing on growth in student test scores and competitive federal grants. In one embarrassing 2012 episode, the NBPTS failed to win financing through a new federal teacher-development grant program after its own congressional earmark was eliminated. The economic recession took its toll, too. Fewer states now subsidize the $2,500 application fee for the board’s credential or grant salary increases to teachers who complete the process. Board officials said that the new changes will reflect the latest learning from the field, including the research from the Gates Foundation’s Measures of Effective Teaching study. “We’ve just learned a lot about best practices in teaching and want to make sure our assessments mirror that,” said Andy Coons, the chief operating officer of the NBPTS. The current assessment process consists of 10 components. As part of the overhaul, the organization will reorganize the assessments into four chunks, broadly measuring a teacher’s content knowledge; use of data to meet students’ needs and set goals for them; classroom pedagogy, based on a video analysis; and classroom effectiveness. The revisions—the first to the certification process since 2001— will take effect in 2014-15. In what might make board certification more attractive to teachers, the organization also will reduce the application fee for teachers to $1,900—a savings largely achieved through the group’s recent move to electronic submission of candidates’ portfolios. And teachers will be permitted to complete the four modules in any order under a pay-as-yougo approach. The board had been moving to- ward the increased flexibility already, and some board-certified teachers praised the new options. “I work a lot with teachers in our district who go through it, and the biggest challenge is the time commitment,” said Angela McCormack, a board-certified high school math teacher in Big Lake, Minn. “It’s so much to get that done in a year.” Neither the standards underpinning board certification nor the organization’s “core propositions” for the teaching profession will change. Multiple Measures Committees of experts will make recommendations on how to carry out the changes, and teachers will also provide feedback in the process, Mr. Coons said. Revisiting the question of effectiveness is likely to be the trickiest of the changes, given the heated tenor of policy debates on teacher effectiveness. It will probably mean establishing new guidelines or parameters on the evidence teachers can submit to meet that goal. Standardized-test scores and student-perception surveys are among the measures the expert committees will address and whose appropriate place they’ll gauge. The board’s movement in that direction fulfills the recommendations of an outside panel. Mr. Coons stressed that any new guidelines will rely on multiple measures, not on a single piece of information. “It’s an opportunity for practitio- ners to weigh in on them,” he said, “and not have them decided by people who don’t know teaching or teachers.” > > The TEACHER BEAT blog tracks news and trends on this issue. teacherbeat OUR FUNDERS Editorial Projects in Education wishes to thank the following foundations for their generous support. EPE retains sole editorial control over the content of articles and other work underwritten by our donors. The Atlantic Philanthropies supports coverage of school climate and student behavior and engagement in Education Week and on The Atlantic Philanthropies is dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. A limited-life foundation, Atlantic is focused on four critical social issues: aging, children and youth, population health, and reconciliation and human rights. The GE Foundation supports coverage of implementation of college- and career-ready standards in Education Week and on The foundation leverages best practices from districts it has a legacy of supporting in order to help U.S. teachers and administrators succeed in reaching all students. GEFDevelopingFutures; Twitter at @GEF_USEducation (https://; The NoVo Foundation supports coverage of school climate and student behavior and engagement in Education Week and on NoVo is dedicated to catalyzing a transformation in global society by supporting the development of capacities in people — individually and collectively — to help create a caring and balanced world that operates on the principles of mutual respect, collaboration, and civic participation. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports coverage of the education industry and K-12 innovation in Education Week and on, and provides capacity-building support for Editorial Projects in Education, Education Week’s nonprofit parent company. The Gates Foundation is dedicated to the principle that every human life is equally valuable. Its commitment to education centers on ensuring greater opportunity for all Americans through the attainment of secondary and postsecondary education with genuine economic value. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation supports coverage of deeper learning in Education Week and on The Hewlett Foundation makes grants to address the most serious social and environmental problems facing society. The Noyce Foundation supports coverage of informal and school-based science education, human-capital management, and multiple-pathways-linked learning in Education Week and on Launched in 1990, the Noyce Foundation is dedicated to improving math, science, and reading instruction in public schools, promoting school leadership and education research, and expanding opportunities for informal, hands-on science learning for students. The California Endowment supports coverage of school climate and student behavior and engagement in Education Week and on The California Endowment’s mission is to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. The Joyce Foundation supports coverage in Education Week and on of policy efforts to improve the teaching profession. Joyce works to close the achievement gap by improving teacher quality in schools that serve low-income and minority children, expanding early-childhood education, and promoting innovations such as charter schools. The Raikes Foundation supports coverage of school climate and student behavior and engagement in Education Week and on The foundation provides opportunities and support during adolescence to help young people become healthy, contributing adults. pantone 173 pantone 5463 pantone 7403 pantone 5487 pantone 5527 The Lumina Foundation supports coverage in Education Week and of the alignment between K-12 schools and postsecondary education. The Lumina Foundation strives to help people achieve their potential by expanding access to and success in education beyond high school. The Carnegie Corporation of New York supports coverage of entrepreneurship and innovation in education and school design in Education Week and on Created in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie, the Carnegie Corporation seeks to promote “the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” orangebelly design Raikes - final logo 03.10.08 The Wallace Foundation supports coverage in Education Week and on of public school leadership, extended and expanded learning time, and arts learning. The foundation seeks to create widespread change by sharing lessons that public and private institutions can use to promote benefits for the people they serve. The MetLife Foundation supports the development of edweek. org’s online Teacher channel and its capacity to engage teachers interactively as a professional community. Established in 1976, the foundation funds educational, health, civic, and cultural organizations and draws on findings from the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher to inform its support of education. The Ford Foundation supports coverage of more and better learning time in Education Week and on The foundation supports visionary leaders and organizations on the frontlines of social change and works to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. The Walton Family Foundation supports coverage of parent empowerment in Education Week and on The foundation promotes initiatives to expand parental choice and equal opportunity in education to help spur the bold transformation of the national K-12 system of public education. The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation provides partial support for Diplomas Count, Education Week’s annual report on the state of high school graduation and reform efforts. The foundation’s mission is to support efforts that promote a just, equitable, and sustainable funders ad_updated.indd 29 8/27/2013 4:19:03 PM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - September 18, 2013

Education Week - September 18, 2013
Calif. Testing Move Hits Federal Nerve
Teacher-Review Tool: Classroom Portfolios
TFA Educators Found to Boost Math Learning
Assessment Group Sets Accommodations Policy
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Spoken-Word Poets Bring Words to Life for Students
Partnership in Bronx Aims to Build Skills On Behalf of Parents
National-Board Certification to Be Cheaper, Smoother
Iowa District Reimagines the Five-Day School Week
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Consumer Demand for Digital Ed. Games Seen Rising
Blogs of the Week
Ed. Dept., Arizona in Clash Over Waiver
Congress Gears Up for Higher Ed. Law Renewal
Policy Brief
Louisiana Vouchers, Desegregation Case Prove Volatile Mix
House Panelists Question Relevancy of Education Dept. Research
Why the New Teacher Ed. Standards Matter
Unfairly Fired Teachers Deserve Court Protection
A Sandy Hook Parent’s Letter to Teachers
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Encouraging Courage

Education Week - September 18, 2013