Here are the facts about National Board Certification:
1) National Board Certification is part of a growing education reform movement reshaping America’s schools by developing, recognizing and retaining many of the nation’s best teachers. Like board-certified doctors and accountants, teachers who achieve National Board Certification have met rigorous standards through a performance-based assessment that takes one to three years to complete. NBCTs have demonstrated deep knowledge of content and teaching practices to support diverse learners.
2) NBCTs improve student achievement. National Board Certification has a positive impact on student achievement, according to a congressionally-mandated report by the National Research Council released in June 2008. The NRC report states: “The evidence is clear that National Board Certification distinguishes more effective teachers…with respect to student achievement.”
3) National Board Certification is a widely accepted form of performance-based pay. National Board Certification is a model of pay-for-performance that is supported by teachers and administrators nationwide. More than two-thirds of the states provide salary incentives and cover the costs for teachers who pursue and/or achieve this advanced credential.
4) NBCTs offer students the skills necessary to thrive in school and in the workplace – essential factors for our nation’s success in the 21st century global economy. In the critical areas of math and science, for example, 10,000 math and science teachers have achieved National Board Certification, proving they are among the best teachers in the nation. Nearly 15 percent of all teachers who hold National Board Certification teach math and science.
5) National Board Certification retains teachers. National Board Certification is a proven way of ensuring that the most highly-accomplished teachers remain in the classroom. In Florida, for example, nearly 90 percent of NBCTs remain in teaching – which far exceeds the average 60percent retention rate for all teachers statewide. In Ohio, 52 percent of NBCTs surveyed said they plan to stay in teaching as long as they can as compared to 38 percent of non board-certified teachers in the state. South Carolina had similar results. Many NBCTs mentor new and struggling teachers—those most likely to leave the profession within the first five years of teaching.
6) NBCTs are proven teacher leaders. Research shows that NBCTs serve in significant school-based leadership roles. For example, researcher Gary Sykes (2006) found that NBCTs give input on curricular decisions, chair departments and organize professional development initiatives. A recent survey of NBCTs found that 83 percent mentor new or struggling teachers and 80 percent say that teachers and educators look to them for leadership. Hispanic, African American and Native American NBCTs report the greatest increase in leadership opportunities from National Board Certification.