Wednesday, July 16, 2008

McCain Backs ABCTE

Washington, DC (July 16, 2008) —
If elected president, Arizona Senator John McCain would focus effort and energy toward recruiting talented career changers into the teaching profession. According to a speech today, McCain’s education platform will focus significantly on teacher recruitment, in light of the fact that America’s schools are suffering from a critical teacher shortage.

Under a proposal outlined by Senator McCain, additional funding would be set aside to help recruit career changers into the teaching profession.

In remarks at the 99th annual NAACP convention in Cincinnati today, McCain outlined a bold education reform agenda which includes an expansion of school choice and additional funding for alternative teacher recruitment programs. “Many thousands of highly qualified men and women have great knowledge, wisdom, and experience to offer public school students. But a monopoly on teacher certification prevents them from getting that chance.”

“If I am elected president, school choice for all who want it, an expansion of Opportunity Scholarships, and alternative certification for teachers will all be part of a serious agenda of education reform,” McCain said. “I will target funding to recruit teachers who graduate in the top 25 percent of their class, or who participate in an alternative teacher recruitment program such as Teach for America, the American Board for [Certification of] Teacher Excellence, and the New Teacher Project.”

ABCTE hailed McCain’s focus on innovative teacher recruitment and called on Senator Barack Obama, McCain’s opponent, to echo the same message.

Dave Saba, President of the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence(ABCTE) stated: “We applaud and thank Senator McCain for highlighting the needs of America’s students in his speech before the NAACP today. Education is the civil rights issue of our time. We can only ensure a quality education when every child has a great teacher. Alternative teacher certification programs like the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence are bringing critical expertise into the classroom.”

ABCTE’s goal is to recruit talented professionals to change jobs and become teachers. Eight U.S. states currently use ABCTE to recruit and certify teachers, and the organization has recruited more than 6,000 talented career changers to enter the teaching profession.

ABCTE has made great strides this year in improving education. In May, Governor Matt Blunt of Missouri signed legislation creating an alternate route to teaching using the ABCTE program. In June Traci Brown, a scholarship recipient, earned the 1,000th certification issued by ABCTE. Most recently, Mathematica Policy Research released a survey showing that 85 percent of ABCTE teachers were still teaching three years after they were certified.

“It is great to see the candidates talking about this issue and recognizing programs like ABCTE that are having a positive impact on education,” said Saba. “ABCTE is not a partisan program; it is a way forward for all of America’s public, private and public charter schools suffering the effects of a critical teacher shortage. All candidates should embrace this effective alternative.”

About ABCTEThe American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence is a non-profit organization, dedicated to recruiting, preparing, certifying and supporting dedicated professionals to improve student achievement through quality teaching. ABCTE is an innovative teacher preparation and certification program for highly knowledgeable individuals who want to change careers and become teachers. For more information about ABCTE, please visit

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