On Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Secretary of Education Arne Duncan delivered remarks at the launch of a new school leadership project sponsored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).
For more than 20 years, NBPTS has developed a record of creating rigorous standards and assessments for teacher excellence that, today, are recognized throughout the country. On Tuesday, the organization publicly announced the design of a National Board Certification for Principals – the first credential of its kind to focus on the advanced development of school leaders. This certification is part of the first phase of a larger NBPTS program, National Board Certification for Educational Leaders, which will also create standards and an assessment process for teacher leaders. The certification for principals is expected to become available in 2011.
Many national education and business leaders gathered at the Press Club to lend support for the initiative, including representatives from the American Association of School Administrators, the national associations for elementary and secondary school principals, and GlaxoSmithKline. The Department of Education is providing $1 million in funding for this initiative. Additional funding support is derived from the National Policy Board for Educational Administration, State Farm Insurance, the Wallace Foundation, and the Chicago Public Education Fund.
During his remarks, Secretary Duncan asserted that talent should be at the center of every effort to improve education in this country. “In Chicago,” he stated, “we learned that schools are the agents of change – and we learned that we couldn’t transform a school without a great leader … and great teachers.” The secretary also noted that we need meaningful preparation programs and real evaluations that help school leaders develop and hone their skills. He challenged NBPTS and education reform advocates to shine a spotlight on how well students are doing in our nation’s schools. “Part of being a National Board-certified leader needs to be about improving and accelerating student achievement,” he said. “At the end of the day, that’s where all of our policies need to take us.”
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