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National Board Names New President

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the independent nonprofit organization that bestows advanced certification on qualifying educators, has named Ronald Thorpe as its new president and CEO. Thorpe, who is a well-known education advocate, began his career as a private school teacher and administrator working under Theodore R. Sizer, and was later a program director at education foundations. Since 2003, he has been vice president for education at WNET, New York City's public television station. In that position, he helped create and direct the annual Celebration of Teaching & Learning conference.

Thorpe joins the NBPTS at a complex juncture in the organization's history. More than 90,000 teachers nationwide have now attained National-Board certification, and the organization's credentialing process has gained visibility (at least among teachers) at a time when policymakers are fervently seeking evidence-based ways to measure teachers' effectiveness and development.

At the same time, however, a number of states have sought to scale back subsidies and incentives for teachers who go through the Board-certification process. To gain standing in current education-policy discussions around teacher effectiveness, meanwhile, the NBPTS is being urged to consider incorporating standardized test scores and other measures of student-learning growth in its criteria for certification.

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