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Principal Groups Seek More Answers for Canceled Advanced-Certification Program

It's been more than two months since the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards officially pulled the plug on its advanced-certification program for principals, a move that left more than 200 school leaders who completed field- and pilot-testing with little to show for their efforts.

Now, the board says it is working with some state principal associations to honor the school leaders who completed the rigorous, 18-month-long process, though it's not yet clear what the recognition will include. In an email sent to the principals, the board said it is "considering ways to recognize the accomplishment of principals who submitted complete portfolios."

At the same time, the top leaders of the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals have asked the national board to give a fuller account of why it pulled the plug on the advanced-certification program and to provide the school leaders with a review of their portfolios and how they measured up against a set of "accomplished" principal standards.

In their letter to NBPTS board of directors chairman Bob Wise, Gail Connelly, the executive director of NAESP, and JoAnn  Bartoletti, the executive director of NASSP, also asked the organization to reconsider its decision to scrap the program.

After the governing body of the national board voted to end the program in April, Ron Thorpe, the president and chief executive officer of the Arlington, Va.-based organization, told Education Week that the participating principals would receive written feedback on their submissions by the end of next month.

The organization cited financial and administrative challenges as barriers to keeping advanced certification for principals going. The program—unveiled in 2009—set out to mirror the board's 25-year-old certification process for teachers.¬†

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