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Oklahoma Adopts ABCTE Program

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The Oklahoma legislature just OK'd (sorry, I couldn't resist) the certification of teachers through the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, a national alternative-route program.

Nine states now support the credential, which is granted after candidates pass content-area and pedagogy tests. (The candidates get help and coaching from a pool of experienced teachers prior to taking the tests.) The states are Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Utah.

The bill, in fact, passed the Oklahoma House unanimously, 99-0. I'm told that's the first time legislation to approve the program has ever passed without some objection. Quite a far cry from 2004, when the California State Commission on Teacher Credentials voted not to move forward with ABCTE after teachers' unions and representatives of education schools protested.

David Saba, ABCTE's president, referenced a recent report by the National Commission on Teaching and America's future that found about half of Oklahoma's teaching force is composed of teachers older than 50.

"As they approach retirement age, it will be critical to have enough new teachers in the pipeline from all certification routes. We’re excited to work with school districts throughout Oklahoma to fill teaching vacancies with talented career-changers who can bring their real-world knowledge to the classroom," he said.

1 Comment

This sounds very much like a proposal of mine. I proposed that each school institute an evaluation that consisted of 3 questions to 4 different groups. Teachers (annually): who do you go to for pointers on teaching; who do you consider the most knowledgeable in their field; and who do you admire for their contribution to the school overall success.
Student (asked at the end of their attendance at the school): which teacher do you admire most; which teacher challenged you the most; which teacher would you go to for advise. Parents (asked at the end of their child's attendance at the school): which teacher challenged your child the most; which teacher was the most receptive to your concerns.
Administrators (annually): which teacher is the most knowledgeable in their field; which teacher made the most effort towards increasing their expertise; and which teacher promoted the success of your school the best.

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