National Board Adopts Revised Career and Technical Education Standards

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ARLINGTON, Va. —The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has adopted newly revised standards for accomplished teaching in the rapidly evolving field of Career and Technical Education (CTE). The standards, which will be published in early 2015, were created by educators—Board-certified teachers and researchers with distinguished expertise in CTE. They were written to reflect recent advances in research and practice and address the increasing focus on preparing all students for postsecondary success.

“In defining accomplished teaching within career and technical education, the revised standards are rigorous, elegant, and move the field forward in significant ways,” said Kristin Hamilton, NBCT, director of standards at the National Board. “The standards are a tremendous credit to the outstanding educators who served on the standards committee, led by co-chairs Dr. John Cannon and Indira Cureton-Cummings, NBCT, and reflect the strong support and input of stakeholders and teachers across the spectrum of CTE.”  

The new standards coincide with a decision by the National Board to enable teachers without a bachelor’s degree to pursue CTE certification, unless it is a requirement of their state teaching license. They also come at a time when new policy developments are shaping the future of the field once known as vocational training, including a series of reports from the U.S. Department of Education, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the American Institutes of Research’s Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, Achieve and others that underscore the critical importance of teacher quality within CTE. To date, more than 4,000 teachers have achieved National Board Certification in CTE.

“The National Board Standards recognize and respect the fact that CTE is not a homogenous field, but a field of many distinct specialties with diverse requirements for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do to advance student learning,” said LeAnn Wilson, executive director at the Association for Career and Technical Education. “It’s another piece of evidence that CTE is a critical component of a robust education, and has broad implications for America’s economic future. We’re encouraged by this emphasis on quality teacher preparation, and appreciate the work of our partners from the National Board in spearheading this effort.”

National Board Certification in CTE will now be organized around eight new pathways or specialty areas established by the standards, from Decorative Arts and Design to Natural Resources. They also boost the content knowledge requirements for CTE certification and the expectation that teachers are able to tailor their instruction and programs to students of diverse needs, developmental levels and abilities. 

“The new standards and eligibility guidelines for National Board Certification in CTE will help states and systems recruit and support many more teachers from diverse and non-traditional education and industry backgrounds to become accomplished CTE teachers,” said Kimberly Green, executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc). “This will go a long way towards achieving our collective goal of preparing every student for success in college and in the career of their choice.”

Nationwide, more than 110,000 teachers have achieved National Board Certification through a rigorous, performance-based, peer-review process similar to Board certification in fields such as medicine. Research has shown that the students of National Board Certified Teachers learn more than students in other classrooms, which is why many states and districts offer financial incentives for teachers to pursue certification.