WASHINGTON — A Carnegie Corp. panel named 33 educators and civic leaders Friday to lay the groundwork for the first national standards board for the teaching profession.
"This can be the breakthrough that will really get America on the course of having superb schoolteachers," former North Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt Jr., chairman of the planning group, said at a news conference.
The planning group, formed by the private, nonprofit Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy, includes the presidents of both major teacher unions, the governor of New Jersey, the California school superintendent and teachers at public schools.
National Board Foreseen
Hunt said their aim is to establish within a year the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to certify teachers who pass its muster.
Marc Tucker, the forum's executive director, said it will be three to four years before the "revolutionary new methods of assessment" are developed and in place.
The national certification idea was the centerpiece of Carnegie's plan for radical changes to upgrade teachers' status and give them more control over what and how they teach. The forum suggested creating a new category of "lead" teachers, who would command salaries of $65,000 or more.
The National Governors Assn. two weeks ago threw its support behind creating the national standards board, and the idea was backed this summer by the National Education Assn. and the American Federation of Teachers.
Teachers now are certified by the states. Under the Carnegie plan, states would continue to license teachers, but a teacher with national certification could command higher pay and status.
"Our goal is to have teaching become a profession in which the term 'board-certified' says the same thing to our citizens that it does in the medical profession," Hunt said.
Besides Hunt, the group includes Mary Hatwood Futrell, NEA president; Albert Shanker, AFT president; New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean; Bill Honig, California superintendent of public instruction; Thomas W. Payzant, superintendent of San Diego schools; Claire L. Pelton, English teacher and coordinator of the School Site Council at Los Altos High School in California, and Arturo Madrid, president of the Tomas Rivera Center in Claremont, Calif.