NBPTS Reaches Halfway Mark to Fund National Certification Program for Principals and Teacher Leaders

November 16, 2009


Contact: James R. Minichello
Phone: 703-465-2171   
Email: jminichello@nbpts.org 

NBPTS Reaches Halfway Mark to Fund First-of-its-Kind
National Certification Program for Accomplished Principals
and Teacher Leaders

Venture Philanthropy, Business, Foundation and Government Back New National Quality Assessments

ARLINGTON, VA – November 16, 2009 – As part of a nationwide effort to advance the nation’s school reform agenda, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) has reached the halfway point of its $5 million funding goal toward the initial phase in developing National Board Certification for Principals. On December 8, 2009, NBPTS will be joined by a cross-section of funders to publicly announce the design and development of this initiative.

National Board Certification for Principals is the first phase of an expanded umbrella program, National Board Certification for Educational Leaders, which not only creates standards and an assessment process for principals, it will also lay the groundwork for a new teacher leader certification. Investments from the nation’s major public, private and philanthropic sectors have contributed to the development of National Board Certification for Educational Leaders with more expected to follow in the coming months.

The Chicago Public Education Fund (The Fund), a venture capital for public education, stands as lead investor with a $1 million, multi-year investment made earlier this year. Other funders include State Farm Insurance Companies, the National Policy Board for Education Administrators and The Wallace Foundation.

“National Board Certification allowed us to bring the toughest standards around teacher excellence to our city and to our teachers,” said Janet M. Knupp, founding president and chief executive officer of The Fund, which has raised nearly $50 million since 2000 from the Chicago corporate and philanthropic communities to invest in human capital improvements in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), including National Board Certification for teachers. The Fund has also worked extensively on school leadership, having partnered with CPS to create some of the toughest eligibility requirements in the nation for principals and seed leading edge preparation programs.

“Advanced certification for principals will enhance our portfolio of innovations here in Chicago around school leadership,” added Knupp. “It will promote excellence within the profession, provide clearer career paths for high-potential talent and, most importantly, promote student achievement.”

Congress provided $1 million in the FY 2009 Omnibus appropriations bill for development of a principal certification.   U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (Iowa), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, requested the inclusion of funds in the legislation.

“Effective principals and teacher leaders are critical as we work to improve our nation’s schools,” said Harkin. “For years, I have supported National Board Certification, a highly successful program that keeps America’s best teachers in the classroom. This new certification program will create a positive learning environment and recognize the importance of instructional leadership.”

The Wallace Foundation, a leading national foundation focused on education leadership for the past decade, has recently joined the collection of supporters funding this project. “This program is important because it more clearly defines what accomplished principals should know and be able to do, as well as a common assessment to measure their performance,” said Richard Laine, the Foundation’s director of education. “We know that effective school leadership helps attract and retain teachers and improves the quality of instruction, especially in lower-performing schools. The multiplier effect of effective leadership is an essential ingredient in building a dynamic culture of learning and ensuring the success of every student.” Wallace’s commitment of $500,000 will help develop the advanced certification for principals. 

Embraced by policymakers, business leaders, administrators, principals and teachers, National Board Certification for Principals is expected to launch within the next two years.

“The generous support is clearly an illustration of public and private partnerships coming together to create systematic reform for our nation’s schools,” said Joseph A. Aguerrebere, NBPTS president and chief executive officer. “Prominent education, leadership and philanthropic organizations have recognized that we have built what is seen as the gold standard in teaching. They would like us to create a similar gold standard for principals and teachers in school leadership positions.”

This initiative builds on the National Board’s highly successful program, National Board Certification for teachers and school counselors. Currently, there are 74,000 National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) nationwide.

In a congressionally mandated report, the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies confirmed that National Board Certified Teachers advance student achievement and learning, stay in the classroom longer, support new and struggling teachers and assume other school-based leadership roles. The NRC acknowledged that students taught by National Board Certified Teachers make higher gains on achievement tests than students taught by non-board-certified teachers.

National Board Certification is recognized as a model of pay-for-performance and is supported by teachers and administrators nationwide. Many states and local school districts provide salary incentives and cover the cost for teachers who pursue and achieve this advanced teaching credential.

A voluntary assessment program designed to develop, recognize and retain accomplished teachers, National Board Certification is achieved through a performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete. While state licensing systems set basic requirements to teach in each state, NBCTs have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices.

For more information about NBPTS and National Board Certification, visit www.nbpts.org.


About the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
NBPTS is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan and nongovernmental organization. NBPTS advances the quality of teaching and learning by developing professional standards for accomplished teaching; creating and administering National Board Certification, a voluntary system to certify teachers who meet those standards; and integrating certified teachers into educational reform efforts. Today, 74,000 National Board Certified Teachers are making a positive difference in the lives of students across the nation.

© 2009 National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. All rights reserved. NBPTS, NBCT, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Board Certified Teacher and National Board Certification are registered trademarks or service marks of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Other marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective organizations.