A new endorsement pathway will use a competency-based micro-credential program to recognize teacher professional learning

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 12, 2020 — Today BloomBoard and ExcEL Leadership Academy announced that their combined approach to professional learning using competency-based micro-credentials has been recognized by the Rhode Island Department of Education as an official endorsement pathway in the area of multilingual learners.

Many of Rhode Island’s classroom teachers and education support staff are doing their best to work with Multilingual Learners (MLLs), but they often lack the training and support that would help them – and their students – succeed. The partnership will provide better overall school outcomes in Rhode Island by preparing K-12 teachers to work with MLLs. Using a tiered, micro-credential approach that is geared toward mainstream teachers, the endorsement pathway blends effective adult learning and instruction practices for MLLs, in which teachers progress at their own rate and demonstrate their mastery of best practices.

“This competency-based, digitally-supported professional development tool provides a great opportunity for administrators, teachers and especially students to thrive,” said Joseph DiMartino, a parent, educator, and school board member in Rhode Island. “Through this effort, teachers in Rhode Island will be given the chance to hone their skills at reaching and teaching the large number of English Learners we have here in Rhode Island. And, because of its availability, it provides the support necessary for all teachers to become adept at teaching all students, including English Learners.”

According to Laureen Avery, ExcEL Leadership Academy Director, “This endorsement opens up a highly effective, low cost mechanism to rapidly improve the efficacy of teachers across the state, while making powerful and positive impacts on Rhode Island students.”

As educators develop and demonstrate their skill for working with MLLs, some may choose to go further in their professional learning and become an MLL specialist. In Rhode Island, educators demonstrating competence in all 12 ExcEL micro-credential areas will be able to add the Multilingual Learner Endorsement to their existing RI teaching certificate.

“Our goal is to provide educators with opportunities to improve their classroom practice in ways that enhance student outcomes, and to advance in their careers and compensation in the process,” said Sanford Kenyon, CEO of BloomBoard. “Partnering with ExcEL to support Multilingual Learners in Rhode Island is a perfect example of our goal in action.”

About ExcEL Leadership Academy
The mission of the ExcEL Leadership Academy is to provide professional learning opportunities for all teachers to support high quality, equitable education for English Learners. We believe every teacher wants, and needs, the skills needed to ensure English Learners are successful in their classrooms. ExcEL provides personalized, collaborative, purposeful professional learning. Our main technique includes the use of a micro-credential approach to provide recognition for learning through job-embedded, portfolio-based experiences. The ExcEL Leadership Academy is partly supported by funding from the US Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition through the National Professional Development program awards #T365Z170196 and #T365Z160244.

About BloomBoard
Founded in 2010, BloomBoard is leading the shift from professional development to educator advancement via micro-certification. The company partners with states and districts to enable a unique online learning experience where educators improve their instructional practice and advance in their careers by earning micro-credentials. BloomBoard aims to help all organizations transition to meaningful, purpose-driven educator development and advancement based on measurable certification. For more information, visit bloomboard.com.