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News Release: Educators Rising Debuts Micro-credentials for Aspiring Teachers

January 09, 2017


Arlington, Va., January 9, 2017 — Today, Educators Rising released five micro-credentials, or performance-based assessments, for aspiring teachers. At a launch event hosted by Digital Promise in Redwood City, Calif., Educators Rising announced that all five “Aspiring to Teach” micro-credentials are available effective immediately through Digital Promise's micro-credential ecosystem, which is hosted by Bloomboard.

“The Educators Rising micro-credentials are a powerful and important addition to an emerging universe of competency-based, on-demand micro-credentials,” said Karen Cator, president and chief executive officer of Digital Promise. “We’re thrilled to partner with Educators Rising to bring rich opportunities for preservice educators to build skills and gain recognition for their achievements.”

Educators Rising micro-credentials offer preservice educators — in some cases as young as high school students exploring the profession — opportunities to demonstrate their competencies and gain commensurate recognition as they take their first steps on the path to accomplished teaching. Each Educators Rising micro-credential submission will be scored by an expert educator; aspiring educators whose submissions earn a passing score will earn digital badges.

Educators Rising micro-credentials are mapped to Educators Rising Standards for aspiring teachers, developed in partnership with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards through a grant from the National Education Association.

The five Educators Rising micro-credentials released today include:

Anti-bias Instruction

The rising educator comprehensively analyzes the underlying strategies and active practices of anti-bias instruction that skilled educators implement and sustain. Through observational visits to a learning space, the rising educator examines the critical components of anti-bias instruction. According to Teaching Tolerance, these critical components are:

  • Critical Engagement with Material
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Cooperative and Collaborative Learning
  • Real-World Connections
  • Values-Based Assessment, Evaluation, and Grading

Classroom Culture

Through observational visits to a learning space, the rising educator identifies and evaluates successful strategies for implementing and sustaining the critical components of equitable classroom culture in a learning space. According to Teaching Tolerance, these critical components are:

  • Honoring Student Experience
  • Thoughtful Classroom Setup and Structure
  • Shared Inquiry and Dialogue
  • Social and Emotional Safety
  • Values-Based Behavior Management


Rising educators engage in virtual and face-to-face collaborative inquiry with the goal of informing instruction that the rising educator will deliver. Rising educators will submit an annotated lesson plan, a video of teaching, and a reflection, with specific focus on how collaboration informed their teaching.

Formative Assessment

Rising educators collect and analyze evidence of student thinking in minute-to-minute, short cycles during a lesson, and then use this information to provide feedback and make decisions about teaching and learning. Rising educators describe the context for one lesson, provide a video of themselves teaching that lesson while implementing quality formative assessment strategies, and finally compose a reflection on the effectiveness of their efforts.

Learner Engagement

Rising educators demonstrate their ability to strategically engage learners in the first five minutes of a lesson. Through a detailed lesson plan, a video of the lesson in action, and a reflective essay, rising educators examine and implement strategies to activate learning and engagement.

Explore the five Educators Rising micro-credentials.

“Imagine a new generation of teachers, serving every child in every community, entering the field with strong knowledge and skills in each of these five areas,” said Dan Brown, co-director of Educators Rising and a National Board Certified Teacher. “Earning Educators Rising micro-credentials will be a powerful indicator that aspiring teachers are taking meaningful first steps on their journeys to excellence.”

Educators Rising is powered by PDK International, and the micro-credentials help to advance PDK’s goal of improving education. Joshua P. Starr, chief executive officer of PDK, said “Educators Rising micro-credentials are an important innovation in making sure that all kids are taught by those who are able to demonstrate that they have the skills and competencies necessary to be great teachers. School systems need to embrace opportunities to provide teachers with different pathways to professional excellence, and micro-credentials do just that. As an organization, we’re especially proud to support micro-credentials that emphasize equity and social justice, which are core values of PDK International.”

The “Aspiring to Teach” micro-credentials were developed by the Educators Rising Curriculum Development Team in partnership with Digital Promise, with funding provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.



About Educators Rising

Educators Rising — powered by PDK International — is transforming how America develops aspiring teachers. Starting with high school students, we provide passionate young people with hands-on teaching experience, sustain their interest in the profession, and help them cultivate the skills they need to be successful educators. The result is a pipeline of accomplished teachers who are positioned to make a lasting difference — not only in the lives of their students, but also in the field of teaching more broadly. Learn more at