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American Board Unveils Passport To Teaching Certifications in General Science & Biology

WASHINGTON, DC (April 14, 2005) — Knowledgeable individuals with bachelor’s degrees and a passion to teach science can now become certified teachers utilizing the respected and efficient Passport to TeachingSM certification process offered by the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (www.abcte.org).

The American Board announced today that it has started accepting applications from individuals interested in pursuing general science and biology Passport to Teaching certifications. The announcement was timed in recognition of the U.S. Department of Education’s Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education (ESTEME) Week  (www.esteme.org ), April 11-16, 2005. ESTEME week provides an opportunity for the nation’s schools to focus on improving math and science education.

"One of the best ways to enhance math and science education in America is to ensure that every child has a knowledgeable, motivated and highly qualified teacher," said Dr. Kathleen A. Madigan, president of the American Board. "The Passport to TeachingSM certification in both general science and biology help achieve that goal, and we are continually grateful for the U.S. Department of Education and the many lawmakers whose vision and support have made these certifications possible."

The American Board worked for more than a year to develop the research-based general science and biology certifications. The standards and certification development process included participation from leading teachers, education officials and science subject-area experts. One participant in this process was Tracey Bailey, a member of the American Board’s Board of Directors and 1993 National Teacher of the Year. Bailey, who taught AP Physics, AP Biology and honors chemistry and now serves as the Association of American Educators’ Director of National Projects, was involved in the initial development of the science certification standards.

"America has a critical need for qualified science teachers," Bailey said. "The American Board’s new science and biology certifications will open the door to teaching for many individuals with exemplary scientific backgrounds who otherwise may not have entered the classroom."

Experts predict that America will need 2.2 to 2.4 million new teachers within the next ten years. Often, the most significant shortages are in the areas of science and math. According to a study by the "National Center for Education Statistics http://www.nces.ed.gov, 37 percent of high school math teachers and 31 percent of science teachers lack a major or certification in their field. Similarly, the report revealed that 69 percent of math teachers and 57 percent of science teachers lack a major or certification in their field. Among the nation’s largest urban school districts, 98 percent have an immediate need for science teachers, while 95 percent have an immediate need for math teachers.

Individuals can apply online  (www.abcte.org) to pursue the general science and biology Passport to TeachingSM certifications. To receive the Passport to TeachingSM, certification candidates must prove they have mastered rigorous subject area and professional teaching knowledge standards by taking two examinations administered at approved testing centers nationwide. Candidates for certification work with experienced teachers to prepare for their teaching careers. The American Board recommends a multitude of other preparation materials and courses for candidates to utilize, as well.

In addition to the new general science and biology certifications, the American Board offers Passport to Teaching certifications in elementary education, English and mathematics. Teachers certified through Passport to TeachingSM are considered highly qualified according to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

For more information, please contact: Andrew Campanella, Director of Communications Phone: 202-261-2634, Mobile: 202-246-2155 E-mail: acampanella@abcte.org.

The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (www.abcte.org) was created in 2001 to address the need for a highly qualified teacher in every American classroom. The American Board offers the rigorous, five-step Passport to TeachingSM certification process for knowledgeable and passionate individuals entering the teaching field.  Passport to TeachingSM offers individualized learning plans for teaching candidates to complement the knowledge and skills they have obtained through previous work experience.

The American Board is also developing a Master TeacherSM certification to recognize current teachers who significantly advance student achievement.  Master TeacherSM should be available in 2006.

The American Board is recognized as approved provider of teacher certification in the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence

1225 19th Street NW Suite 400 · Washington, D.C. 20036 Toll Free: 1-877-NOW-ABCTE (1-877-669-2228) · Phone: 202-261-2620 · Fax: 202-261-2638 contact@abcte.org.   Passport to TeachingSM and Master TeacherSM are service marks of the American Board.

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