from the NEA NBCT Caucus

A Message from the Chair

It is October and many of us have gotten deeply into our classroom routines. As a full-time release president, I have been visiting teachers and serving as a guest lecturer in classrooms throughout the district. It’s been such a joy to have the opportunity to see accomplished teaching in so many different contexts.

It seems as though it has been a long time since the RA, even though it has been just a few months. For those of you who attended in Washington, DC, it was an exciting event. We did get one New Business Item passed that a Caucus member proposed. Please see the following article for more information.

It really is NOT too early to think about running for the NEA RA next year in Boston. Many states start the election process in January. It is critical to have the voice of accomplished teachers in the room. If you have not yet paid your dues for the caucus, please click here and use PayPal to pay your dues. 

MaryKay Scheid, NBCT
Chair, NEA NBCT Caucus
A Message from the NBPTS Board of Directors
By: Dr. Melissa Albright, NBCT
Board of Director

Teaching Learning Conference

Teaching & Learning began ten years ago as the Celebration of Teaching & Learning and thrived under Ron Thorpe’s leadership when he served as VP and Director of Education at WNET in New York City. The conference was a vision of Ron’s and when he was president of the National Board in 2012, the conference evolved into what became known as the Teaching & Learning Conference. Teaching & Learning was a celebration of teaching; grounded with deep respect for teachers, wonderfully inspirational to those that attended, and provided a place for educational professionals to join together and network. It truly was a place to celebrate our wonderful profession!

However, to enable National Board to focus on many new and exciting projects (such as ATLAS and bringing Board certification to scale across the country), the Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to discontinue The Teaching & Learning Conference. As we say goodbye to T&L we can be thankful for Ron’s vision and leadership through the years.

The National Board and its staff, as well as its board members, remain committed to fostering community and collaboration. We will do this in new and exciting ways for years to come.

Save the Date! Now is the time to be checking with your local and state leaders to see if you can become a delegate to the NEA National Leadership Summit.

Leveraging Leadership and Inspiring Action. 
By: Beth Hieronymus, NBCT 2008 - Iowa

The 2016 Annual National Board Academy kicked off July 10th in Las Vegas, Nevada. 37 National Board Network teams from 34 states connected with their peers during the two day conference to learn about innovative models and build practical, action-oriented plans for the 2016-17 school year. Through large group and breakout sessions, teams identified an important problem related to the professional career continuum. Examples were provided to assist with the learning and problem-solving process regarding evidence-based solutions that leverage National Board Standards, Board certification, and the leadership of NBCTs to improve teaching and learning.

NBCTs should reach out to their local and state networks to discover how they may assist with plans and making accomplished teaching the norm, available to every student every day.
Elevating the Voice of Accomplished Teachers
The Boardroom is the National Board's monthly newsletter where accomplished teachers lead the discussion on topics from teaching policy to teaching practice. View The Boardroom here, and subscribe now.
Confessions of a National Board Caucus Newbie: Me and NBI 75 Through the NEA RA. By: Elizabeth Campbell

Confession #1: I am a little late (at age 56) to the game of working with my teachers’ union. Although a National Board Certified teacher and 20+ year union member, I just recently got involved in my local and this past July I attended my second NEA Representative Assembly (RA) in Washington DC. My first RA in Orlando 2015 was pretty overwhelming as I explored the many caucuses, made contacts with delegates from other states and soaked up the multiple topics of new business (NBIs) addressed by the huge body of educators present. One of the things I did at that first RA was join the National Board caucus. It was a good fit for me and I developed some excellent contacts that first year, including Douglas Lea of the National Board of Teaching Standards Board of Directors.

Spring of 2016 saw me ready to jump into the preliminary work of the Washington DC RA. I worked with colleagues to identify issues we thought should be brought to the attention of Nevada State Caucus and potentially to the NEA RA floor as a new business item. Angie Sullivan (a National Board candidate, inner city elementary educator, policy nerd, and good friend) and I realized that Nevada’s new “Read By Three” legislation had a fatal flaw: it mandated that Nevada’s third graders be retained if they cannot pass the third grade SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) test. As National Board teachers, Angie and I could easily see the unintended consequences of this legislation and the unfairness of basing such a high stakes outcome for 8 year old children on a single test.

Confession #2: I’m a nerd and Angie is a bigger nerd. We began to research, and found the roots of this legislation stretch back to the 1990s and the state of Florida. Chasing it some more we found many other states had legislated similar incarnations of the same idea: retaining kids on the basis of a single standardized test. We felt this issue needed to be brought to the attention of the Nevada State Caucus and possibly the nation for consideration. On the appointed day we shared our ideas and asked Nevada for support. We saw the frustration of professional educators from all over Nevada who overwhelmingly supported what would become New Business Item 75:

“NEA use existing resources to educate members about punitive policies mandating elementary grade retention on the basis of a single test score.”

As National Board teachers, Angie and I realized that policies of this sort were in complete opposition to what we understand to be accomplished teaching. We discussed our ideas with Shelley Poss, Secretary of the National Board Caucus, and she encouraged us to bring our new business item to the National Board Caucus for discussion. (I’m a newbie, so note for other newbies...the more caucuses you have support you, the more likely to have your NBI passed by the NEA body. There is work and networking involved in a successful effort.)

Confession #3: Now this is a thing and I am freaking out about bringing NBI 75 to the National Board caucus. LOTS of smart, accomplished educators in the room at the NB Caucus. Steve Owens/VT and MaryKay Scheid/CA and Chair of the National Board Caucus are formidable, and there were others. I felt a little naked. I didn’t want to get picked apart. I thought our research was sufficient and compelling. Caucus members discussed, tossed ideas around and refined our wording and our ideas for floor strategy. And yes, the National Board Caucus VOTED TO SUPPORT NBI 75!!! National Board Caucus’ support was key for us, and National Board teachers were passionate about the “Read By Three” issue because of the obvious teaching and learning problems involved in mandates linking elementary retention to one test score. Legislation like this flies in the face of the Five Core Propositions of the National Board and our understanding of accomplished teaching.

Now the real work of discussion and floor strategy began. My contact information was printed in “RA Today” and I started to get calls from educators from all over the country. As I tried to meet with them on that big convention floor with approximately 10,000 people present, it truly felt like I was running all over the country! We decided on speakers for when NBI 75 was called. I would move the NBI, then NBCTs Shelley Poss/NV, Rachel Stafford/AZ and Douglas Lea/MD would speak in support. Educators from other states would man the mics to yield floor time to our speakers. I ran all over the convention center to address questions and got good information and personal testimony about our issue. Particularly troubling were the stories I heard from colleagues in Arizona about their “Move On By Reading” initiative and from Colorado where colleagues and students deal with their state’s “Read Act.”

Confession #4: I have a pretty serious fear of public speaking. Weird for a teacher, right? But in a room packed with 10,000 colleagues, that mic looked like a snake poised to bite my face off. I wrote my speech and paced the back of the hall practicing. I timed it. I over-prepared, because over-preparation is insurance for the fearful. I was NOT going to screw it up. THEN...NBI 75 got bundled to pass. We had the support of 44 states and the National Board Caucus and it was late in the week so we got bundled to pass with no discussion (that means the floor votes to let several broadly supported NBIs pass without hearing their floor arguments). I DIDN’T have to speak. (Phew, sort of.) Our issue, National Board Caucus’s and so many state’s issue, will be disseminated by the NEA so we win. Kids win. And crazy, great, important, meaningful discussions were had by our National Board Caucus teachers and colleagues from all over the US. This is how the real business of shaping education policy gets done each summer. It’s huge, it’s messy, but it’s REAL democratic process informing the direction of the largest educational organization in the world.

Confession #5: It was insane but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. After the vote to bundle and pass I was literally physically sore from all the running. “Hey, Elizabeth, Alaska has a question!” Off I’d go. “Hey Elizabeth, Colorado wants to meet with you about mic strategy!” Off in the other direction. At one point Doug Lea even escorted me into the “batcave” (the backstage area where the gods and goddesses of education hang out) to get a question answered. Days of this, it was truly like a fast-walking marathon! So many caring colleagues helping and babying me though the process. But the act of doing the business, of actually pushing a policy item at the national level was so invigorating that I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. This National Board teacher, newbie though I may be, likes being a part of the national conversation. Who knew?

So newbies at NEA RA 2017, come check out the National Board caucus! You’ll find a friendly, supportive group of people who will help you get your business done. I will see you there and will definitely help you with your mic strategy! Wear your running shoes, I’ll be in mine!

Elizabeth Campbell, with a million thank yous to Doug Lea, MaryKay Scheid, Angie Sullivan, Rachel Stafford, Steve Owens, Shelly Poss and SO many others...

An Invitation from Peggy Brookins, NBCT, President and CEO of The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

Have you considered attending the 2017 Spring CAEPCon & 2017 Fall CAEPCon? (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation). As a National Board Certified Teacher, you can make a significant contribution to the teaching profession by sharing your expertise with other educators.

We would like to inform you that the call for proposals is now open, and the deadline to submit for both conferences is October 10, 2016. The upcoming Spring CAEPCon will be held March 22-24, 2017 in St. Louis, MO and the Fall CAEPCon will be held September 24-26, 2017 in Washington, DC. Information about the call for proposals is available at http://caepnet.org/working-together/education-field/call-for-presentations-2017.

While the National Board won't be able to cover your registration or travel expenses, we would like to encourage you to submit a session proposal-- and identify yourself as an NBCT when you do -- to share your practice with other colleagues.

This may be an excellent opportunity to discuss:

Preparation of candidates to develop discipline-specific practices and facilitate P-12 students' achievement of college-and career-ready standards

Mutually beneficial clinical conditions

Recruiting increasingly diverse and able candidates and monitoring their progression

Strategies for tracking and assessing effectiveness of completers in service

Data quality, data literacy, and data use in program improvement

Scholarly use of accreditation data and educator preparation research to inform the field

Establishing validity and inter-rater reliability for assessments

You may also choose to discuss how you have integrated the National Board's 5 Core Propositions, National Board Standards, and/or ATLAS in your courses.
Invitation from Teach to Lead 

Teach to Lead has been at the center of national conversation on teacher leadership by supporting teachers as they turn leadership ideas into action. We are pleased to announce that Teach to Lead will host a Teacher Leadership Summit in Chicago, Illinois, December 2-4, 2016. The Inclusion, Equity, and Opportunity Summit is a topical summit that will bring teacher leaders and other stakeholders together to incubate ideas for combating inequity and fighting for social justice on behalf of students. Ideas will leverage teacher leadership to promote equity for our highest needs students and schools.

How do participants benefit from the Summit?

· Further develop an idea for combating inequity into a complete action plan for moving forward
· Obtain the support of a dedicated “critical friend” from a supporting organization to help advance proposed work
· Build relationships with ASCD, National Board, United States Department of Education and many other supporting organizations

Participants Receive:
· Free registration
· Hotel accommodations for two nights or parking*
· Some meals during the Summit
*Hotel is provided free of charge for teams traveling more than 50 miles; parking is provided for teams traveling 50 miles or fewer to the Summit.


Educators must submit ideas by Wednesday, October 26, 2016. Applications are peer-reviewed by a panel of educators. Space is limited to approximately 25 teams. Selected teams will be invited to the Summit. Educators are encouraged to submit an idea, regardless of their geographic location, but participants must cover their own travel costs or obtain sponsorship.

The deadline for idea submissions for the Inclusion, Equity, and Opportunity Summit is Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 11:59pm, EDT. Selected teams will be notified on November 4, 2016.

Find out more by visiting the NEA NBCT Caucus  website

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