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National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

September 2011

Author: Linda Wesson

Legislative Brief

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1987. The mission of the board is to advance the quality of teaching and learning by developing professional standards for accomplished teaching and certifying teachers who have proven they meet those standards. The organization was created in the wake of a 1986 report by the Carnegie Task Force on Teaching as a Profession, which called for the creation of a national board to set standards for the profession. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certified over 91,000 teachers in the United States from 1994 through 2010, representing about three percent of the nation’s teaching force. A 2008 National Research Council report found that students taught by board-certified teachers had higher achievement test gains than did those taught by non-board-certified teachers, although the differences were small and varied by state. This OREA brief looks at the board’s funding and governance, the certification process, the extent of teacher participation nationally and within Tennessee, the value of certification, and national, regional, state, and local incentives for achieving certification.