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Arkansas Education Task Force Recommends American Board Certification Program to Strengthen Quality of Public Education

WASHINGTON, DC (December 19, 2005) — The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (www.abcte.org) today congratulated the Arkansas Koret Task Force on K-12 Education on the release of its new publication Reforming Education in Arkansas. Produced by an 11-member task force, the book is a result of a yearlong study of the Arkansas’s education system.

The publication includes recommendations on how to reform education in Arkansas based on the study requested by Governor Mike Huckabee.

The 165-page report highlights a variety of topics including a section on Teacher Preparation and Certification. It recommends that Arkansas decide upon a new model of teacher preparation and certification. The task force proposes that ABCTE is a good partner for alternative certification.

ABCTE offers the Passport to Teaching program which requires certification candidates to hold bachelor’s degrees and demonstrate high levels of knowledge on rigorous examinations of subject area and professional teaching knowledge. The innovative, computer-based examinations are administered at secure testing centers located throughout the world. Prior to earning certification, individuals must also pass a federal background check.

Currently, certification is available in mathematics, science, biology, elementary education, English, and special education. Additional certification areas will be added in the future. All individuals who use Passport to Teaching to earn state certification are recognized as highly qualified according to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

“Arkansas’s leaders have shown their dedication to children by recommending solutions to solve problems within the education system,” ABCTE President David W. Saba said. “We at ABCTE are looking forward to partnering with Arkansas to implement the needed reforms.”

For more information on the American Board, visit www.abcte.org. For more information on the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education or to read Reforming Education in Arkansas visit http://www.korettaskforce.org/.

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