Friday, October 2, 2009

Washington State: looking for teacher certification options

We’re seeing a lot of news and chatter coming out of Washington State that all points to the fact that they could really use ABCTE.

This summer, there was the teacher shortage related article in the Tacoma News Tribune, saying that public schools in the state were looking overseas to hire teachers and other staff. We responded with a letter to the editor, explaining that in a time of such high unemployment, school districts could give those jobs to talented experts if there were a more flexible way—like ABCTE—for them to get certified.

Next, we saw residents from Washington state cross over into Idaho for information sessions we held in Coeur d’Alene last month. These are people who want to teach in Idaho now using ABCTE certification and some of them are hoping Washington will eventually accept ABCTE certification in their public schools so that they can use it to teach in their own community, rather than in a neighboring state.

Finally, a writer in Seattle this week included ABCTE in a top ten list of ways to solve the education problem, saying that require candidates to pass our tests would be one way for districts to “stop hiring poorly-educated individuals for teaching positions.” Our tests are not easy—most candidates take 8 to 10 months to prepare and pass our rigorous exams, which cover not only the subject an individual wants to teach but professional teaching knowledge as well. This means that our candidates have proven that they not only know their subject but how to teach it as well, by mastering topics such as pedagogy, assessment and classroom management.

So Washington, what are you waiting for?

School administrators, please let education leaders know that you want ABCTE’s help in filling positions in math, science and other subjects, with experts. We have people with a PhD in physics [ABCTE teacher video] or a degree in chemistry [ABCTE teacher video], for example, who are now teaching these subjects in other states. They are bringing their expertise and real world experience into the classroom—who wouldn’t want their students learning a subject from a talented, tested individual with a degree in that very subject?

Legislators, we’d like to talk with you about proposing a bill that would allow ABCTE certified teachers to teach in your state, so that they don’t have to leave the state or take thousands of dollars in college courses in order to have a classroom of their own. There are talented engineers in your state who are looking for work or who want to shift into a second career—they could be teaching math and science, helping the shape your state’s future.

Parents, students and other residents, please write to your state leaders and let them know that you want ABCTE.

If there’s anything we can do to help, please email us at

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