Source: The Jewish Week
The National Board of License for Teachers and Principals of Jewish Schools in North America has announced that it will officially close its doors and cease operations as of December 1, 2009. The NBL has been certifying educators since 1941 and was the only national body to do so. Current applications will be processed, but henceforth there will be no national standardized certification available. Those wishing to be licensed should contact the local central agencies for Jewish education throughout North America.
Presently, low number of candidates for Jewish teaching jobs, let alone candidates who can meet the NBL’s licensing standards has decreased the demand for the work of the Board.
A raise in Jewish teachers' salaries could possibly draw more qualified people into Jewish education but with synagogues and day schools all feeling strapped from the recession — and the unemployment rate at historic highs — raising salaries is a tough cause to champion nowadays. Not only do few Jewish education jobs require a license, but hardly any institutions offer their teachers, many of them part-time, any financial incentives to get one.
In the past, through its affiliates — approximately 15 North American bureaus of Jewish education — the NBL licensed hundreds of teachers and approximately 20 administrators each year.
Offering a range of certificates, from “permit” to “license,” the board set detailed standards governing the number and type of academic credits, as well as years of teaching experience, required.
But many of those bureaus are now closing or being dramatically restructured. And despite the Boards efforts, none of them — or any national Jewish education institution — has been willing to take in the beleaguered NBL.