U.S. Department of Education to Partner With National Board on Teacher Leadership

The following is a statement by Ronald Thorpe, president and CEO of the National Board, on the new teacher leadership initiative announced yesterday by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan:

WASHINGTON – “Today Education Secretary Arne Duncan made a major commitment to elevating the teaching profession by announcing the launch of Teach to Lead, a new initiative to advance teacher leadership in partnership with the National Board.

For more than 25 years, the National Board has served as the profession’s vehicle for setting the highest standards for accomplished practice. Through National Board Certification, a process created for teachers, by teachers, we are keeping outstanding teachers in the classroom and enabling them to grow in their practice and become leaders in the profession. In states and districts across the country, policy makers who understand this recognize the value of Board-certified teachers by rewarding them for voluntarily pursuing teaching’s highest credential.

In committing resources to this endeavor, the Secretary will help make National Board Certification the norm and not the exception for teachers who wish to grow in the profession without leaving the classroom behind.

It is important to note that the Secretary made this announcement at Teaching & Learning 2014, the profession’s conference, which in this inaugural year drew over 5,000 educators and others from all 50 states for a two-day meeting. Building upon the excellent groundwork laid by the Department’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T blueprint, Teach to Lead will convene educators, district leaders, principals, and chief state school officers, among others to take real action. In making his announcement today, the Secretary is asking us to use Teaching & Learning 2015 as the venue to hold this group accountable, this time next year.

The National Board is proud to be at the forefront of Teach to Lead, along with our colleagues at the NEA and AFT, to build on years of great work together to ensure that the voices of teachers are prominent in shaping education policy and the profession.”