To the Editor:
I was encouraged to read about the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ modernization (“Revamped National Board Process Stirs Teachers’ Interest,” Jan. 11, 2017).
I connected with the NBPTS in the early 1990s, when I was working in administration for the Broward County school district in Florida, with a focus on standards and teacher education. The national board was trying out its new standards in select districts around the country, and I agreed to supervise a test center for the board in Florida for two of the standards. As I recall, several dozen teachers participated, but very few achieved certification during that first try.Although participation was light in those early days, outcomes were powerful. The NBPTS train-the-trainer model created professional learning communities around validated teaching standards. The model promoted a kind of shared ingenuity for teachers in common license areas, reducing teacher isolation.
I applaud the more efficient and less costly model that the board has recently approved. The NBPTS has created a splendid standards-based model of professional development. In my experience as an educator and administrator, and in my current work as a consultant, this model yields measurable effects on both participants and students that are far superior to many other kinds of “sit ‘n’ git” professional-development strategies I still see regularly in my school district visits.
The letter writer is a former associate superintendent for the Broward County, Fla., school district, where he oversaw human resources and training.
Thomas P. Johnson
Harwich Port, Mass.
A version of this article appeared in the February 15, 2017 edition of Education Week as Updated Teaching Standards Create Better Training Experiences