"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, August 05, 2005

ABCTE and Federal $$ Stream

Gerald Bracey, educational researcher and, otherwise, impeccable source, points out that Kathleen Madigan seems to have had it wrong: ABCTE is not mentioned in the NCLB Act. In examining ABCTE's own press releases, however, they offer that US DOE began the money flow to them in the Fall of 2001. Their October 1, 2001 press release touts the initial 5 million coming over two months before Congressional passage of NCLB.

Here is more on this interesting timeline:
  • March 18, 2003. Paige promotes ABCTE at the National Press Club (3 months before they announce the development of their first credentialing tool), where he says of ABCTE, “It focuses on what teachers need to know and be able to do in order to be effective, instead of the number of credits or courses they’ve taken . . . . It demands excellence rather than exercises in filling bureaucratic requirements.”
  • June 4, 2003. ABCTE announces it will partner with Promissor to develop the first series of rigorous exams for its Passport to Teaching certification.
  • June 15, 2003. The Secretary of Education endorses ABCTE (two weeks after the announcement of work starting on the first series of tests) as an approved path to the Federal requirement for "highly-qualified" teachers. Some quotes from the US DOE document available here:
The American Board “bases its certification not on whether an applicant has come up through the traditional route, such as a college of education, but on whether that teacher knows his or her academic content and classroom management skills,” says American Board president Kathleen Madigan (2003). “That’s teacher excellence—and that’s ‘highly qualified’” (p. 26).

“Some people will argue that this change is too radical, that it’s too risky, that we should maintain the status quo,” Secretary Paige added. “Well, I agree that it’s radical. It’s radically better than the system we have now, a system that drives thousands of talented people away from our classrooms” (p. 27).
  • September 25, 2003. ABCTE announces the awarding of a 35 million dollar grant from US DOE.

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