Las Vegas, NV—The nation’s mayors voiced their unanimous support for alternative teacher certification programs such as those offered by the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) and Teach For America at the 74th Annual Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Las Vegas this week. The vote comes at a time when U.S. schools face a teacher shortage crisis, with a need for 2 million new teachers over the next decade.
More than 200 mayors voted to approve the Recruiting, Training, Supporting and Retaining Teachers, Principals and Superintendents resolution, calling on U.S. mayors to encourage state recognition of alternative certification programs as a part of preparation, certification and credentialing requirements.
The resolution “encourages the use of high quality alternative programs that recruit, train, support and retain teachers, principals and superintendents,” and specifically mentions ABCTE, Teach For America, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, New Leaders for New Schools and the Broad Superintendent Academy.
“School districts deserve more options for recruiting talented and motivated career changers to the teaching profession, and we thank the U.S. Conference of Mayors for its leadership on this important issue. The Mayors recognize that the only way we can ensure that every child has a quality teacher is if states fully utilize all these programs,” said ABCTE President David W. Saba.
Career changers have responded enthusiastically to programs that remove unnecessary barriers to entry level certification. In fact, more than 2,200 candidates are pursuing the ABCTE certification, which requires each prospective teacher to hold a bachelor’s degree, demonstrate mastery on rigorous national-level examinations of subject area and professional teaching knowledge, and pass a federal background check. To date, more than 20,000 potential teachers have inquired about the ABCTE program and when it will be available in their state.
Florida, Idaho, Utah, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania recognize the ABCTE certification as a route to state teacher certification, and ABCTE partners with more than 20 school districts in these states to launch comprehensive teacher recruitment campaigns.
The full text of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Resolution is available at: http://www.usmayors.org/uscm/resolutions/74th_conference/resolutions_adopted_2006.pdf.