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National Board Facts & Studies

National Board Certification is a symbol of professional teaching excellence. It was created so that teachers, like professionals in other fields, can achieve distinction by demonstrating through a demanding performance assessment that they meet high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do.

Mission: To advance the quality of teaching and learning by maintaining high and rigorus standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do; providing a national voluntary system certifying those teachers who meet those standards, and; advocating related education reforms to integrateNational Board Certification in American education and to capitalize on the expertise of National Board Certified Teachers.

Governance: NBPTS is an independant, nonprofit, nonpatisan and non-governmental organization governed by a board of directors, with the majority of its members being classroom teachers. Other directors include school administrators, school board leaders, governors and state legislators, higher education officials, representatives, representatives from teachers' unions and disciplinary organizations, and business and community leaders.

History: Created in 1987 in response to the 1983 President's Commission on Excellence in Education report. A Nation At Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform, and the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy's Task Force on Teaching as a Profession report, A Nation Prepares: Teachers for the 21st Century.

National Board Certification: Based on core propositions and standards describing what teachers should know and be able to do, the process of National Board Certification is a forceful professional development experience. Teachers are strengthed in their practice and the beneficiaries of their improvement are the students in their classrooms.

Teachers must demonstrate their knowledge and skills through a series of performance-based assessments that include student work samples, videotapes, and rigorous analyses of their classroom teachingand student learning.

Written assessments probe the depth of their subject-matter knowledge and their understanding of how to teach those subjects to their students.

It is offered on a voluntary basis. While state licensing systems set requirments to teach in each state, National Board Certification establishes high and rigorous advanced standards for experienced teachers to demonstrate accomplished practice.

It is available to all teachers who hold a baccalaureate degree, have taught for a minimum of three years, whether in a public or private school, and have held a valid state teaching license for those three years.

NBPTS offers 25 certificate areas. To view all certificates areas and their descriptions, visit
For information on studies on National Board Certification, visit