National Board Certification, Professional Development
April 22, 2014

Fact Sheet 14-05 National Board Certification

Source: NYSUT Research and Educational Services

This updates and replaces Fact Sheet 12-02 (February 2012) and Fact Sheet 13-06.


  • National Board Certification in New York State - 2
  • Pursuing National Board Certification - 2
  • National Board Certification Process - 2
  • NYS Funding Sources and Resources to Assist Candidates - 3
  • Certificate Renewal - 4
  • NYS State Licensing/Certification and National Board Certification - 4
  • Related Programs and Supports - 5
  • NYSUT locals that have reported negotiated incentives for NBPTS candidates and NBCTs - 6
  • Twenty-Five National Board Certification Areas - 7
  • National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Core Propositions - 8
  • Questions and Answers for NYSUT Local Leaders - 9
  • Resources for Teachers and Local Leaders - 11

For more information, download the complete Fact Sheet (PDF)

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) was proposed in 1985 by Al Shanker, legendary union leader, as a voluntary national certification body for teachers, by teachers, akin to board certification for physicians. The Carnegie Foundation established and funded NBPTS in 1987 to begin research and development on just how to certify teachers; it started the actual certification process in 1994. The Board was created as an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, nongovernmental body with a majority of teacher members. The mission of the National Board is to advance student learning and achievement by establishing the definitive standards and systems for certifying accomplished educators, providing programs and advocating policies that support excellence in teaching and leading, and engaging National Board certified teachers and leaders in that process.

National Board Certification (NBC) was developed for teachers, by teachers, as an advanced teaching credential representing professional acknowledgement of accomplished teaching practice in 25 certificate areas. For each subject area, National Board Standards and performance-based assessments are developed by outstanding educators in that field who draw upon their expertise, research on best practices, and feedback from their professional peers and the education community.

All certificates, regardless of grade level or subject area, are organized around the National Board’s Five Core Propositions for Teaching — comparable to medicine’s Hippocratic Oath — setting forth the profession's vision for accomplished teaching. The Five Core Propositions form the foundation and frame the rich amalgam of knowledge, skills, dispositions and beliefs that characterize National Board Certified Teachers.

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

The Five Core Propositions represent what all accomplished teachers share in their expertise and dedication to advance student achievement. (See page 8 for more details on each Proposition).

NBPTS eligibility requires candidates to possess a bachelor’s degree, have completed three full years
of teaching or school counseling and possess a valid state teaching or school counselor license.
Candidates voluntarily seeking recognition for meeting rigorous standards can choose from twentyfive
areas defined by subject and students’ developmental level (pre-K thru Grade 12 - see page 7).

National Board Certification in New York State

In December 2013, NBPTS announced the names of 136 New York State teachers who recently achieved National Board Certification (NBC). Since 1995 over 1,600 teachers in NYS state have achieved National Board Certification. Nationally, more than 106,000 teachers have achieved National Board Certification representing 3 percent of the national teaching population.

Pursuing National Board Certification

National Board Certification is a highly respected professional voluntary credential and provides numerous benefits to teachers, students and schools. It was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools. The National Board standards can serve as a significant component of professional development, supporting improvements in teaching and learning and enhancing teacher effectiveness.

It allows teachers to hone their practice, showcase their talent in the classroom, and demonstrate dedication to their students and their profession. The National Board Certification process is aligned with NYS Teaching Standards and can be used as evidence to document teaching practices under the required NYS Annual Professional Performance Review, and the 175 hours of professional development for professionally certified teachers. Standards based evaluation, use of multiple measures (analysis of teaching artifacts, observation, examination of student work, reflection, portfolios), and evidence of student growth are reflected in both NYS APPR and National Board Certification.

Pursuing Board certification affords teachers the opportunity to become part of a larger network of accomplished teachers shaping the profession. During the process, candidates reflect on best practices in their content area, with their students and find immediate classroom applications of what they’ve learned.

Many districts and teachers unions in NYS have collectively bargained financial incentives, including stipends, for educators who achieve Board certification (see list of districts that self-report National Board contract language on p. 6.) School and district administrators and union leaders often look for NBCTs when interviewing teacher candidates and setting criteria for educators to serve as teacher leaders in their schools.

National Board Certification Process

NBPTS has implemented several revisions commencing in the 2014-15 year. These revisions incorporate current research on best practices in teaching, provide options to teachers and counselors pursuing Board Certification and address:

  • Efficiency - the process is now organized into four components (see Table 1)
  • Affordability - the cost of the certification fee decreases from $2,500 to $1,900 ($475 per component)
  • Flexibility - choices in completing the required components (one year or over time) are now provided

Current NBC candidates will complete the certification process according to the requirements in place during the year they applied to be a candidate. The Career and Technical Education (CTE) candidate process begins 2015-2016.

In all certificate areas, candidates for National Board Certification are required to complete four components: three portfolio entries (submitted online) and one computer-based assessment (administered at a local testing center). Components can be completed in a year or over a few years. An annual registration fee of $75 must be paid online. Scoring rubrics for each component and each certificate area will be available in the Fall of 2014. Scores are reported by December 31. Results are reported with a score for each component as well as information to assist candidates in making decisions on whether or not to retake. Component scores can be banked and retake fees are $125. The reliability of the scores is maintained by standardized scoring protocols with trained and experienced content experts and NBCTs.