Followed by @abcte on #twitter, so what is this American Board?

impressedOur humble website was followed by an entity mysteriously named The American Board. Interesting. I checked it out.

I don’t have time or patience for a crazy amount of research or digging. Perhaps the reader can help me. Nevertheless, ABCTE is an alternative teacher certification program. Oy.

I start taking a look. Let me see. About pages are the best.

I’m looking for key words in the Board member area and I see KIPP, Sylvan, Frederick Hess, and the American Enterprise Institute. Usual suspects, online learning, alt-routes to keep teacher salaries down. Great. But here’s an interesting one: someone from the Independent Women’s Forum. Where do I know that, where do I know that?

Ah, yes, the same place that houses “Senior Fellow” Gayle Trotter who recently gave some pretty terrible and completely non-sensical testimony AGAINST restricting the sale of assault weapons. I guess, according to Ms. Trotter, the AR-15 is a feminist issue. How bizarre. I mean, what kind of legal training do you receive where gun control is perceived as “sexist?” Now, that’s some insane stuff there.

Moving on. When I look at the website, there’s not much to behold. But I tell you: so much information about pricing, payment plans, and how much it costs. Do you get the sense you’re signing up for a payday loan?

But speaking of cost, you can apparently become certified as an elementary teacher for about $2,000. I’m a teacher educator, let me see what it offers. I go to the program page and I can totally buy it right now for $1845. If I pass, I get to teach in states that have probably diluted their certification laws so much that anyone can teach. How fabulous!

Completing our Elementary Education certification will enable you to teach in Florida, Idaho, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Utah.

I mean, in Florida, all you need is a pulse to open a charter school. Well, when I’m trying to get more information about the program itself, all I get is “Page Not Found.” Huh, is that what your money gets? Interestingly, I was redirected to a page with these suggested results:


I tried to found out about getting “Free Rice,” but alas, nothing. You know, it’s kind of like a Correspondence Course, expect with some videos and stuff. There are extras you can get, but of course, they cost more: advising, mentorship, and even testing extensions or retakes. All extra. Funny, I don’t charge my students more for redoing an assignment. Perhaps we should all do that.

You can get to take all of your exams at a Pearson VUE testing center. So, yeah, the American Board has that Pearson contract locked in. Good for them. The most information I can glean from this entire website is about payments, refunds, fees, and the like. Nothing explicit about their curriculum or program of study.

A few years back, I decided to become a personal trainer part-time to earn some extra money while teaching elementary school. Fitness and exercise was always something I was interested in. I decided to go the American Center for Exercise route which, for someone without a sports medicine degree, is one of the difficult paths.

I paid for materials, studied on my own, paid for the test, took the test, and passed it the first time. I trained about five clients per week for about a year; that’s all I had time for. My clients were lucky that I had been to trainers for many years and already knew a great deal about the discipline. Otherwise, with only the materials and the test, I would have been a pretty terrible trainer.

I think the same thing goes for this American Board thing. I mean, what state officials or other educators out there would really want to accept this kind of training for teaching certification? Who had to be bribed to accept this? Talk about just some shoddy work, even from the website alone.

So this, THIS, is the alternative to traditional teacher preparation the public is being sold? This? No. I understand traditional colleges are getting more expensive. And what they are doing with regard to Troops to Teachers is admirable. I wondered a few years ago if TtT was a way to get more men in the profession. It’s great for retired military folks who want a new lease on life.

Such shoddy, shoddy, careless, uninspired work is no way to prepare an educator. Please. This is just absolutely indefensible and I would challenge any member of this “Board” to discuss the issue.

Hey by the way, shouldn’t NCTQ be all over this one?


  1. I have a low profile and even I and am being followed by similar organizations or whatever they are. I have few followers on Twitter as I’m not a huge Twitter person right now. I’m more into who i follow for information. But, I’d have thousands more followers on Twitter if I didn’t delete a lot of what I like to call, well, spies and trolls. Sure, I could lock my acct. Request info, etc. But, I leave it open.

    What’s happening is with the advent of privatization of everything, I’m sure you will find degrees that have been paid for and never used on eBay and Craigslist. As deregulation of markets continue we will be increasingly exposed to totally fraudulent “schools.” And they’ll leak back to AEI, Mike Huckabee, the Koch heads, whom or whatever. Or to a P.O.Box in Mozambique or some other far away place. Hell, even NYC or Far Hills New Jersey, or deep in the heart of Texas. Doesn’t matter.

    More importantly is the Trotter connection. The far right is stealing our children and willing to risk more horrible massacres in our schools. The teapublicans are after our children Their education. Well being. And minimizing their chances at optimizing their futures. The children outside of the peerage of privilege and elitism, of course.


  2. Interesting. I got “ordained” online after a forum discussion regarding Mike Huckabee’s being an ordained minister, and someone’s response/suggestion that he wasn’t called to the church first and kind of fell into politics and FOX (is being involved in the “church” and FOX like a conflict of interest?). It didn’t cost me anything, and apparently if I go back and clarify my belief system, register with local offices, I can like marry people and stuff!


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