National Board Statement on Every Student Succeeds Act

ARLINGTON, Va. — December 7, 2015 — The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards appreciates Congress’ bipartisan efforts to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

To ensure that all students receive an excellent education, we must implement a comprehensive approach to strengthening the teaching workforce, grounded in a coherent professional continuum that begins in preparation and leads to accomplished practice and the opportunity for teachers to serve in leadership roles. The Every Student Succeeds Act recognizes critical components of this continuum. The National Board is pleased that the bill encourages states and districts to develop teaching residency and induction programs, support teachers through personalized professional learning and growth, and provide leadership opportunities in line with the Better Educator Support and Training (BEST) Act (S. 882). 

ESSA recognizes the critical need to provide a pathway to accomplished teaching in high-need schools and capitalize on the expertise of accomplished teachers,” said Peggy Brookins, National Board Certified Teacher and President and CEO of National Board. “The National Board looks forward to working with states, districts and other critical partners to increase student access to accomplished teachers. ESSA presents opportunities to strengthen the teaching workforce, through the Supporting Effective Educator Development, Teacher and School Leader Incentive, and STEM Master Teacher Corps programs, as well as the substantial funding to states and districts through Title II,” added Brookins.     

Since its founding in 1987, the National Board has sought to recognize and support accomplished teachers and teaching. More than a decade of research from across the country confirms that students taught by Board-certified teachers learn more than their peers, and nearly 80% of Americans agreed that teachers should achieve board certification in addition to being licensed to practice, according to a PDK International and Gallup poll. There are now more than 112,000 teachers who have achieved board certification in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with nearly half working in high-need schools.