What Should and Should Not Change About National Board Certification?

Most of us who have completed the National Board Certification process agree that is one of the most significant, transformative experiences of our careers.

We would also be the first to point out that the process could be better.

Until this year, the entire process was paper-based, starting and ending with a big, blue and white box.  The process is very long and labor intensive on the candidate, processing staff, and scorers, which is why it is also very expensive—more than board certification for other professions.

So, in true National Board fashion, we’ve [now I’m speaking as a member of its Board of Directors] reflected, listened, and reached out to our colleagues in the field for ideas on how to improve the process. It’s important to note here, what’s NOT changing: The quality of the Standards, nor the control of the process—by teachers, for teachers.

Now, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is looking for volunteers (a whole lot of volunteers) to help field test potential components for a redesigned certification process.

U.S. teachers in PK – 12th grade, from all subject areas, all geographic areas, all backgrounds, Board Certified and not yet Board Certified are invited to participate in this contribution to the advancement of our profession.

Non-NBCTs  For anyone who may be interested in seeking National Board certification in the future, participating in a field test will provide an inside look into the process. It affords a no-cost, no-risk practice run on a component.

NBCTs  NBCTs who want to support candidates as they go through the process can participate in one or more field tests to have first-hand experience with the new process. Participation in a field test provides a professional learning opportunity which could be used to document how teachers are members of learning communities.

The National Board will begin field testing three potential components of the revised certification process on the following tentative schedule:

Content Knowledge—this component has two parts

Teaching Practice and Learning Environment—involves creating a video and will be field tested Spring 2015

Effective and Reflective Practitioner—is a new written component that will be field tested Spring 2016

Participants may volunteer to field test one or all three components. Preference in selection will be given to participants who volunteer for all three components.

There is no cost to participating in the field tests, but there is also no compensation for participating.

Scores on the field test components are for research purposes only and will not be provided to the participants or be counted toward National Board Certification.

Participating in field testing will not preclude you from participating in the revised assessment process.

More information is available on the website.

Whether you want to volunteer or not (and if you can’t, please pass the word), I’d like to hear your response to my opening question: What do you think should or should not change about the National Board Certification process?

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