The American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence has added a well-known teacher advocate to its governing board.
Joan Baratz-Snowden, who recently retired as the director of educational issues for the American Federation of Teachers, joined the board last month along with Bethany Little, a lobbyist for the Washington-based Alliance for Excellent Education, which pushes for improved high schools, and Gregory Stone, an education professor at the University of Toledo in Ohio. Ms. Baratz-Snowden has also been a vice president of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Also in August, Mississippi became the sixth state to accept at least some of the board’s credentials for teacher licensure.
The privately organized group has struggled to win such acceptance, and its 2001 founding with federal money raised the hackles of many in the education establishment. The board offers teacher certification almost exclusively on the basis of written standardized tests, a model that contrasts with that used by the national board, which awards an advanced teaching credential on the basis, partially, of a videotaped lesson.
Mississippi will accept the ABCTE credential as a beginning license in areas where teachers have been hard to recruit—secondary biology, chemistry, physics, math, and English, according to Daphne Buckley, who oversees licensing for the state education department. Under the terms of their license, the new teachers must have a mentor their first year and complete some professional development.
A version of this article appeared in the September 13, 2006 edition of Education Week