Rural Trust President Rachel Tompkins Promoting National Push for Advanced Certification for Educational Leaders

Last Updated: February 26, 2009

Rachel Tompkins, president of the Rural School and Community Trust, is a member of a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ steering committee composed of educational and business leaders overseeing a national effort to develop an advanced certification for educational leaders. This initiative will include an advanced certification for both principals and teacher leaders.
NBPTS, the organization that provides advanced standards and certification for classroom-based teachers and other educators, is creating national core propositions and standards for what educational leaders should know and national evidence-based assessments to measure educational leaders against those standards. 
“This bold new initiative will define and validate the requirements that identify effective principals and educational leaders––thus building the prestige for the profession and enhancing student learning,” said Tompkins. “The Rural Trust is pleased to support NBPTS on this important program.”
Supported by policymakers, administrators, principals and teachers, the ACEL program is expected to launch in 2011.     
“The National Board has built strong standards and assessments for advanced teacher certification, which places our organization in a unique position to carry out the same for educational leaders,” said Joseph A. Aguerrebere, NBPTS president and chief executive officer. “You can have accomplished teachers in a school building, but creating a collaborative culture of learning and achievement requires the support and leadership of an equally accomplished principal and other teacher leaders.”
In a recent NBPTS survey, 83 percent of school leader respondents and 69 percent of district leader respondents expressed interest in advanced principal certification. Both school and district-level leaders were most interested in a certification that would better prepare principals to lead systemic instructional improvement.
NBPTS launched a public comment period on its ACEL core propositions on Feb. 13, 2009. Teachers, principals, administrators and anyone interested in improving education were invited to provide feedback on the ACEL program by accessing Survey responses were accepted through Feb. 22, 2009.
National Board Certification for K–12 teachers is part of a growing education reform movement that is reshaping America’s schools. In a Congressionally mandated report, the National Research Council of the National Academies confirmed that students taught by National Board Certified Teachers advance student achievement and learning, stay in the classroom longer, support new and struggling teachers and assume other school-based leadership roles. The NRC acknowledged that students taught by National Board Certified Teachers make higher gains on achievement tests than students taught by non-board certified teachers.
National Board Certification is recognized as a model of pay-for-performance and is supported by teachers and administrators nationwide. Many states and local school districts provide salary incentives and cover the cost for teachers who pursue and achieve this advanced teaching credential.

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