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Statewide Search Announced to Find Tomorrow’s Teachers

ORLANDO, FL (Feb. 9, 2005) – PRNewswire – In a campaign to increase the number of certified teachers available to Florida’s public schools, the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (www.abcte.org) is searching for intelligent, accomplished professionals who have the passion to enhance the world and improve education for the next generation. These individuals — who seek to change careers and contribute to Florida’s communities at the same time — can now become certified as highly qualified teachers through the American Board’s Passport to Teaching program.

Passport to TeachingSM is a time-efficient and cost-effective certification program recognized by the Florida Department of Education and partially funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Individuals seeking Passport to Teaching certification must prove mastery on rigorous examinations of subject area and professional teaching knowledge.  Passport to Teaching certifications are available in the subjects of math, elementary education, and English. Certifications in general science, biology, and special education will be available later in 2005.

In one key aspect of the search, the American Board is developing partnerships with school districts to recruit and certify individuals interested in joining the teaching profession, as well as certify current teachers who do not hold full licensure.

The American Board’s search for potential teachers will be led by Florida resident and former Illinois schools superintendent Dr. Robert Schiller, and will include Florida-based representatives Jon Conley and VieVie Baird. The team will meet with school districts and develop strategic partnerships focused on each district’s unique demand for teachers. Additional outreach efforts, such as informational forums for individuals interested in pursuing teaching careers, are being planned for early spring 2005.

"We look forward to working with all of Florida’s school districts to expand the pool of available teachers, enhance teacher quality, and advance student achievement," said American Board President Dr. Kathleen Madigan.

On February 11, Madigan and American Board Vice President Dr. Randy Thompson discussed the early successes of the Passport to Teaching program at the National Center for Alternative Certification conference at Disney’s Coronado Springs Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Madigan participated on a panel regarding teacher testing, while Thompson discussed the effectiveness of developing teacher certification partnerships in states.

For more information on Passport to Teaching, visit www.abcte.org.  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 Teaching 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 Teacher 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.

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