U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan joined Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes and Obama Administration leaders today at the White House to congratulate the newest class of National Board Certified teachers and engage in a discussion with them on transforming the teaching profession. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced that 6,200 teachers achieved National Board Certification in 2011, the most advanced professional credential available to American teachers.
"We must continue to shine a spotlight on great teaching and further our efforts to celebrate the hard work that educators do every day," Duncan said. "National Board Certified teachers have always stood for excellence and professionalism, and as leaders in the classroom they are uniquely positioned to transform their field."
The White House forum recognized the importance of the teaching profession and furthered the Administration's conversations with educators on how to build a strong workforce. At the event, National Board Certified teachers shared their thoughts on the teaching profession and how the Administration can help support educators to ensure that every child receives high-quality instruction. In addition to the forum, senior officials at the Department are engaging in a series of roundtables with the National Board Certified teachers today to talk to them about strengthening the profession and to get their input on how to best develop teachers as they become leaders in the classroom.
The day-long celebration is part of a number of events the Department engages in year-round to talk with educators about great teaching and elevating the teaching profession. As a key part of its efforts, the Department sponsors the Teaching Ambassador Fellowship program, which is designed to improve education for students by involving teachers in the development and implementation of national education policy. The Fellowship seeks to create a community of teacher leaders who share expertise and collaborate with policymakers on education issues, involve teachers in developing policies that affect the classroom, and expand teachers' leadership in policy at the national, state, and local levels.
In addition to these conversations, Secretary Duncan, senior Department officials and Teaching Ambassador Fellows travel across the country to participate in roundtables with hundreds of teachers each year to hear about teachers' vision for strengthening the profession, and Department leaders are continuing to engage with teachers at national and regional conferences, through new media like Twitter and Facebook, and through newsletters and websites. More information about all of these efforts can be found at http://www.ed.gov/teaching.