What is National Board Certification?
A task force of the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy proposed in 1986 that teachers, like doctors, should have their own voluntary process of national certification. Its leading recommendation called for the establishment of a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Founded in 1987 with a broad base of support from teacher unions, administrators and school board leaders, governors, university officials and business leaders, the NBPTS established a voluntary national system of certification based on high and rigorous standards for accomplished teaching.
National Board Certification is a symbol of professional teaching excellence, which complements, but does not replace, state licensing. While state licensing systems set entry level standards for beginning teachers, National Board certification establishes advanced standards for experienced teachers.
Nationwide, over 102,000 teachers have achieved Board Certification as a way to gain professional recognition, improve their teaching skills, and in some states gain financial incentives.
National Board Certification Requirements
- The National Board Certification process requires teachers to demonstrate and provide evidence that they meet the standards that have been established by educators in a two part performance-based assessment.
- Teachers compile a portfolio which contains four entries about practice, including student work samples, videotapes, analyses and reflection of their classroom teaching and student learning. Additional every candidate must provide evidence of their leadership, their development as life-long learners, and their interaction with parents and the community.
- The assessment center portion is conducted at a computer-center and consists of six, thirty minute exercises which require candidates to provide written responses demonstrating content knowledge specific to their certification area.
For certificate specific requirements visit NBPTS.org.
Background of National Board Certification in New York State
Moving the National Board Certification process forward in New York State has been a collaborative effort of teachers, New York State Teacher Centers (NYSTC), New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), New York State Education Department (NYSED), National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), Higher Education, and State Farm.
As of November 2012, there are 1,467 National Board Certified Teachers in New York State. Although National Board Certification had been available since 1993, only 40 NYS teachers had achieved certification between 1993 and 2000.
Since establishing the Shanker Grant in 1999 which subsidizes the $2500 fee for pursuing National Board Certification, New York State has consistently had about 100 teachers certify each year. NYSUT and NYSED have continued to support NBC by lobbying for continued funding of the Shanker Grant. This past year 156 certified! An almost 12% increase.
Top Districts in NYS: New York City, Schenectady, Arlington, Rochester, Wappinger, and Niskayuna
Concurrently, NYSTCs began to offer guidance and support for candidates by offering cohort groups which meet regularly to meet the demands of this rigorous certification. In 2004, The Greater Capital Region Teacher Center and NBPTS began to offer intensive training for facilitators or "Candidate Support Providers" at the Rensselaerville Institute near Albany, New York. Teachers are grateful that these programs have been partially underwritten by a grant from State Farm Insurance.
Support programs and funding will be essential in growing the number of NBCTs in New York State. We are currently working with NYSED, NYSUT and NBPTS to secure funding to sustain and grow our efforts.
In NYS Education Law Part 80 3.6 allows teachers to meet the five year 175 hour/professional development requirement for maintaining certification (effective 2/2/2004) upon achievement of National Board Certification. Districts are required to record and submit teacher's professional development hours to NYSED and therefore, it is important to keep maintain accurate records of Nationally Board Certified Teachers and their certification achievement date.