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What is National Board Certification?

What is National Board Certification?

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (National Board) is a not-for-profit professional organization, created and governed by practicing teachers and their advocates. The founding mission of the National Board is to advance the quality of teaching and learning by:

  • maintaining high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do;
  • providing a national voluntary system certifying teachers who meet these standards; and
  • advocating related education reforms to integrate National Board Certification into American education and to
  • capitalize on the expertise of National Board Certified Teachers.

Recognized as the “gold standard” in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students.

Founded in 1987, the National Board began by engaging teachers in the development of standards for accomplished teaching and in the building of an assessment – National Board Certification – that validly and reliably identifies when a teacher meets those standards. Today, there are 25 certificate areas than span 16 content areas and four student developmental levels. The essence of the National Board’s vision of accomplished teaching is captured in the enduring document “What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do,” at the heart of which are the Five Core Propositions:

  1. Teachers are committed to students and their learning.
  2. Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.
  3. Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.
  4. Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.
  5. Teachers are members of learning communities.

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