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National Board Certification of Teachers

National Board Certification (NBC) is a voluntary, advanced teaching credential that goes beyond state licensure. NBC has national standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. The National Board certifies teachers who successfully complete its rigorous certification process.

NEA's Position

NEA supports National Board Certification through its resolutions and other policy documents, and considers it a valuable professional development option for experienced teachers. NEA views its support of this advanced, voluntary certification as an important part of its long-standing efforts to enhance standards for—as well as perceptions of—the teaching profession.

Why NEA Supports NBC

NEA was among the founding organizations that established the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) in 1987, and we remain one of its strongest supporters for several reasons:

  • NEA members attest to the positive effects the National Board Certification process has on their classroom practices.
  • A growing body of research links National Board Certification with improved student achievement.
  • The certification process is a rigorous, challenging process that causes teachers to analyze their work. It is a powerful learning experience whether they achieve National Board Certification or not.

How NEA Supports NBC

NEA supports and promotes the national certification process as an important element of a comprehensive system to ensure teacher quality. We provide support to our state and local affiliates on National Board issues. We bring together NBPTS staff and our state instructional issues staff regularly to discuss recruiting and supporting National Board candidates. We provide workshops for potential candidates -- such as the "Jump Start" program in Washington state -- where we demystify the NBC process, delve into the standards, and help our members understand the requirements.

In addition, NEA sponsored a series of summits for National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) in seven states. The goal was to bring these accomplished teachers together to generate recommendations for supporting and staffing high-needs schools in their own states.

The series of state summits held in North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Washington, Wisconsin, and Mississippi culminated in the National Strategy Forum on Supporting and Staffing High-Needs Schools October 4-5, 2007 in Asheville, North Carolina.

NEA affiliates at the state and local level have also been actively promoting National Board Certification. Many have helped pass legislation to pay fees and provide release time to National Board candidates. Others have bargained contract provisions for release time, fee payment, mentoring/assistance, and salary recognition for candidates.

Association Support Is Making a Difference

Association support for National Board Certification is making a difference. Already more than 82,000 teachers have achieved National Board Certification, the teaching profession's highest credential. For more information about the certification process, see NEA’s list of National Board Certification Resources.