Sabotaging the competition
Instead of studying methodology at a teacher’s college, a professional could be certified to teach by passing a challenging test. That’s the goal of the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, which is developing a Passport to Teaching exam. The education establishment hates the idea. But did a teachers college official deliberately sabotage the Passport field test? David G. Imig, president of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, handed out confidential questions at a March conference, reports the Washington Times. The security breach set back the field test by six months, according to the American Board.
Education-establishment leaders launched a vigorous campaign against the American Board last fall after the Education Department awarded the group a two-year grant to develop an alternate process to credential college graduates without education degrees to teach.
In the Washington Post, Jay Mathews reviews other forces that oppose an alternative teacher certification exam:
The (American Board) wants to award a special Master Teacher certificate to experienced teachers based on a measurement of student improvement in their classes. That would put the board in competition with an organization supported by teachers unions, the Arlington-based National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which grants national certificates to teachers based on their knowledge and skills, as assessed by experts.
Evaluating teachers by students’ progress is deeply threatening to teachers’ unions, which oppose the American Board’s efforts. So does the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Via Betsy, who’s experienced both traditional teachers’ education and National Board certification.
. . . Having found that about 90% of what I was forced to take in order to get certified was totally worthless, I fully support any method that can get knowledgeable people teaching in the classroom. . . . I have national certification from having passed through the rigorous NBPTS process. I found that a totally frustrating and time-consuming process that did not reflect my abilities as a teacher.
She was evaluated, in part, on the feedback she gave her students. But all she got back from the National Board’s experts was a numerical score. No feedback on an effort that took 10 hours a week for an entire year.