National Board Certification

National Board Certification

Background and Facts


National Board Certification (NBC) is an advanced teaching credential and a challenging professional development experience offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). NBC is a voluntary certification system based on high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do and consists of an innovative two-part assessment process which spans three years: a portfolio of materials to demonstrate how candidates’ teaching meets National Board standards, and a one-day assessment center experience where candidates respond to computer prompts about subject matter and classroom situations, again keyed to the standards developed for their field.

Established in 1987, NBPTS is governed by a 28-member board of directors, a majority of which must be regularly engaged in classroom teaching. NEA member Christy C. Levings, an elementary teacher in rural Kansas, serves as vice chair of NBPTS. Classroom teachers influence all aspects of the National Board’s work, from standards-setting to assessment development, including the scoring of all candidate performances.

Teachers report that National Board assessments are challenging and time consuming, but provide a unique form of professional development that improves their teaching practice. Because candidates internalize the National Board standards, analyze their teaching in relation to them and provide reflective commentaries about the impact of teaching strategies on student learning, many teachers have characterized National Board Certification as the most valuable professional development experience they ever had.

MNEA sees the value of National Board Certification to improving teaching practice, elevating the profession and address members’ professional development interests.

If you are interested in attending a seminar to find out more about National Board Certification visit the conferences and events page.

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