Governor Matt Blunt to Sign Bill to Approve New Teacher Certification

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Program targets career changers to teach

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The Passport to Teaching program is a great addition to the current routes to certification in Missouri because it attracts talented professionals who wouldn’t otherwise enter teaching through a traditional route

Governor Matt Blunt will sign the first bill this session, which will allow an additional option for teacher certification in Missouri. The new option, offered by the non-profit group the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE), is a program designed specifically for mid-career professionals.

“We need to provide the opportunity for highly motivated people with education and experience in these areas to have the training to bring their expertise to the classroom. Missouri’s current system of alternative certification of professionals who want to become teachers is too restrictive. I support this alternative, to allow certification through the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence,” Governor Blunt said.

Missouri becomes the eighth state joining Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Idaho and Utah to recognize ABCTE’s Passport to Teaching program as a route to state teacher certification. Nationwide, nearly 1,000 people have completed certification with Passport to Teaching and 2,250 are currently enrolled in the program.

In an unprecedented show of support for the new program, Governor Blunt will embark on a multi-city tour to ensure awareness of this new opportunity for Missouri professionals. ABCTE President David Saba will join the Governor. “The Passport to Teaching program is a great addition to the current routes to certification in Missouri because it attracts talented professionals who wouldn’t otherwise enter teaching through a traditional route,” said Saba. “We are very excited to introduce our innovative program in Missouri and start recruiting career changers into the program today.”

At the start of the 2007 school year Missouri needed to hire 1,121 teachers to fill vacancies. ABCTE recruits teachers at no cost to the state or school districts. The ABCTE legislation is one of only five non-appropriation bills to pass the Missouri legislature this session and one of the first to be signed by the Governor. Due to recent press coverage of the ABCTE legislation, more than 300 Missourians have inquired about the Passport to Teaching and a potential physics teacher enrolled in the program this past weekend.

ABCTE is planning a tour of free teacher recruitment events in Missouri during July. School districts are invited to attend to meet prospective teachers for their schools and learn more about how the Passport to Teaching program works. People interested in becoming teachers can attend to learn more. Details on the events will be available soon. For more information, visit http://www.abcte.org/events

ABCTE will offer Passport to Teaching certification in English, math, general science, biology, physics and chemistry. Candidates enrolled in the Passport to Teaching program must demonstrate mastery on examinations of teaching knowledge and subject area knowledge. Individuals with bachelor’s degrees can prepare for certification on their own time and at their own pace, using preparation materials available from a variety of sources.

For more information, visit http://www.abcte.org or call 1-877-669-2228.

The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence is a non-profit organization, dedicated to recruiting, certifying and supporting excellent teachers essential for student success. ABCTE offers the Passport to Teaching program –an innovative alternative route to teacher certification for highly knowledgeable individuals who want to change careers and become teachers. ABCTE is currently developing Distinguished Teacher, an advanced credential for teachers who advance student learning. For more information about ABCTE, please visit http://www.abcte.org.

For more information, please contact:
Colleen Corliss, Marketing & Communications Manager
Phone: 202-261-2636, Mobile: 202-415-6101 (media only)
E-mail: ccorliss(at)abcte.org

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Colleen Corlis
ABCTE
202-261-2636
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