Curriculum

President of Alternative-Certification Group Resigns

By Bess Keller — September 20, 2005 3 min read

The founding president of a group that offers teacher certification based on results from standardized tests resigned last week, as board members called for redoubling efforts to woo states into accepting the credential.

BRIC ARCHIVE

Kathleen A. Madigan will step down as president of the group, the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, at the end of this month but will serve as its senior adviser for the next six, and continue as a member of the group’s board, said Anthony J. Colón, the board chairman.

Ms. Madigan has led the nonprofit organization almost since it got started as a project of the National Council for Teacher Quality with a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2001. She said last week that it was “an incredibly challenging decision” to depart, but the recent death of her mother had shifted her priorities.

She leaves the organization in “solid” condition, she said, citing “spectacular” customer service that has signed up and is advising more than 600 candidates for the credential since last winter and a “remarkable” staff that has grown to 29 people.

The Washington-based board won a second, $35 million grant from the Education Department in 2003 and is no longer part of the teacher-quality council.

Members of the group’s board praised Ms. Madigan, a former executive for an education management company and education school administrator, for overseeing the development of what they described as technically sound and rigorous tests. The exams, which are at the heart of the ABCTE’s streamlined credentialing system, currently cover six teaching fields and teaching methods.

“Kathy’s primary accomplishment has been getting these tests done very well in terms of content, standards, administration,” said Chester E. Finn Jr., an ABCTE board member and the president of the Thomas E. Fordham Foundation in Washington.

No Rush to Acceptance

On the other hand, the product has not yet found much of a market.

Only some 80 candidates have to date taken the tests and earned the certification, called Passport to Teaching, largely because the organization has been able to persuade just five states to accept the credential. Four of the states require more than passing the tests to secure a full license to teach, and Utah allows the test only for mathematics teachers.

“You can say you ought to have more states as members and recruited more prospective teachers,” acknowledged board member Lisa Graham Keegan, the former head of the Education Leaders Council, founded as a conservative-leaning alternative to the Council of Chief State School Officers. “But you can’t go anywhere without rock-solid tests.”

“We would have liked to have had [more prospective teachers] in the pipeline,” agreed Mr. Colón, the board chairman, “but that’s not the direct result of Dr. Madigan not doing something.”

Board members said that one reason for the slow going is the fierce opposition of teachers’ unions and traditional teacher education programs, which successfully rallied in opposition to the credential in California a year ago.

Several board members said they wanted the group’s next leader to go full steam ahead in winning acceptance among state officials, those who hire teachers, and prospective teachers themselves.

“We’ve made a good start on marketing,” said board member Lewis E. Solmon, the president of the Teacher Advancement Program Foundation, which tries to reshape teaching careers and teacher pay. “I’d probably like to see someone [take over as president] . . . who’s had some experience in advocating for alternative kinds of programs.”

The ABCTE’S chief operating officer, David W. Saba, will lead the organization until a new president is named.

Mr. Colón said members had not yet discussed the search for Ms. Madigan’s replacement.

A version of this article appeared in the September 21, 2005 edition of Education Week as President of Alternative-Certification Group Resigns

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Safe Return to Schools is Possible with Testing
We are edging closer to a nationwide return to in-person learning in the fall. However, vaccinations alone will not get us through this. Young children not being able to vaccinate, the spread of new and
Content provided by BD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Meeting the Moment: Accelerating Equitable Recovery and Transformative Change
Educators are deciding how best to re-establish routines such as everyday attendance, rebuild the relationships for resilient school communities, and center teaching and learning to consciously prioritize protecting the health and overall well-being of students
Content provided by Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Addressing Learning Loss: What Schools Need to Accelerate Reading Instruction in K-3
When K-3 students return to classrooms this fall, there will be huge gaps in foundational reading skills. Does your school or district need a plan to address learning loss and accelerate student growth? In this
Content provided by PDX Reading

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Whitepaper
The Digital Transformation in Elementary Education
This white paper reports on the impact of this digital transformation, highlighting the resources educators are most likely to use, their...
Content provided by Capstone
Curriculum What's the Best Way to Address Unfinished Learning? It's Not Remediation, Study Says
A new study suggests acceleration may be a promising strategy for addressing unfinished learning in math after a pandemic year.
5 min read
Female high school student running on the stairs leads to an opportunity to success
CreativaImages/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Curriculum School Halts Use of Fictional Book in Which Officer Kills a Black Child
Fifth graders in at least one Broward County school were assigned to read a book that critics say casts police officers as racist liars.
Rafael Olmeda, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
5 min read
Broward County School Board member Lori Alhadeff listens during a meeting of the Broward County School Board, Tuesday, March 5, 2019, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Broward County School Board member Lori Alhadeff listens during a meeting of the Broward County School Board in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Alhadeff told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that she does not feel like the book "Ghost Boys" is appropriate for 5th graders.
Lynne Sladky/AP
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Whitepaper
Empowering Teachers for Student Success
In this white paper, we highlight 6 best practices for using educational databases and highlight how teachers are effectively using these...
Content provided by Gale