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Idaho Adopts American Board Certification; Helping State to Meet Call for Highly Qualified Teachers

New and Existing Teachers Offered Breakthrough Approach to Certification

WASHINGTON, DC (Nov. 5, 2003) —The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence today announced that the Idaho State Board of Education voted 7-1 in a meeting late yesterday to accept Passport to TeachingSM certification as a new route to full certification for the state’s public school teachers. Idaho joins Pennsylvania as the second state to formally recognize the American Board and embrace new approaches in helping to meet the requirements under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 to place a “highly qualified" teacher in every classroom by the 2005-06 school year.

“Idaho teachers and students are the true beneficiaries of this decision," said Kathleen Madigan, president of the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence. “With so many rural communities, the state faces unique challenges. American Board certification will work side-by-side with existing certification options to ensure that Idaho teachers have the knowledge necessary to impact student learning."

Based on rigorous standards for professional teaching knowledge and subject matter expertise, the American Board offers certification for both new and experienced teachers. Teachers earning American Board certification will be able to transfer their credentials easily among the states that adopt the American Board.

Passport to TeachingSM certification is available for mid-career changers, recent graduates and teachers seeking certification. All candidates for Passport to Teaching certification must hold a bachelor’s degree and complete a criminal background check, along with passing the American Board professional teaching knowledge and subject area knowledge examinations.

The American Board recently received $35 million in additional federal funding to expand certification options for teacher candidates, particularly in high-need subject areas, such as Science and Special Education. Assessments are currently available for Professional Teaching Knowledge and Elementary Education (grades K-6) with examinations in English (grades 6-12) and Math (grades 6-12) to be available for the next testing window, scheduled for February 2004.

The examinations employ computer-based technologies that present interactive video and audio segments, asking candidates to assess specific situations and skills and respond accordingly. The professional teaching knowledge exam also includes a written essay component, based on the skills necessary for teachers to effectively communicate with other educators and parents.

About the American Board

The American Board addresses the need to place a highly qualified teacher in every classroom. Through assessments of rigorous standards in professional teaching and subject area knowledge, the American Board offers a new approach to certification that helps states identify qualified individuals with the knowledge to impact student academic achievement. Founded by Education Leaders Council and the National Council on Teacher Quality, the American Board is recognized as approved provider of teacher certification in the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

The American Board was recently recognized by Secretary Paige as an innovative new option for teacher certification in “Meeting the Highly Qualified Teachers Challenge," The Secretary’s Second Annual Report on Teacher Quality, July 2003 and also in the U.S. Department of Education Toolkit for Teachers, September 2003. For more information, please visit

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