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Sunday, April 11, 2010

States Rethink Policies on National-Board Teachers

By Stephen Sawchuk | Ed Week
February 9, 2010

Since the nation plunged into economic turmoil, a handful of states have scaled back pay bonuses and subsidies for teachers who earn certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

But factors other than the economy have also played into the cuts, too. Officials in Georgia, for instance, contend that the state wants to turn its teacher-quality focus toward output-based measures of teacher effectiveness, rather than credentials.

Both phenomena are leading some experts to urge districts, teacher associations, and the NBPTS itself to think strategically about how to structure incentives so that board-certified teachers’ expertise is used effectively in school systems, and thus recognized by a wider cross section of stakeholders.

“We see some national-board-certified teachers leading as a collective and spreading their expertise, but it’s more as a result of accident, as opposed to a policy framework,” said Barnett Berry, the president of the Center for Teaching Quality, a Hillsborough, N.C., research group. “As a result, states have lost a bit of their commitment and passion to this strategy for improving teaching and learning in this country.”

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