What's New?

The National Board is revising its standards, starting with What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do (also known as the What Book).

  • The What Book contains the Five Core Propositions. They address critical aspects of accomplished teaching practice: knowledge of students and subjects, responsibility for student learning and professional reflection, and membership in learning communities.
  • The title and topic of each Core Proposition will remain the same. The revision will update their descriptions to indicate professional advances and highlight the importance of belonging for all students and teachers. 
  • The What Book Committee, comprised of ten National Board Certified Teachers from various certificate areas, has been working on the revision. 
  • The committee’s current draft of the What Book will be open for public comment from June 3 to July 14, 2024. You can participate by taking the survey.
  • Publication of the What Book’s 3rd edition is tentatively scheduled for Spring 2025.

The National Board is also updating the certificate-area standards as part of its large-scale revision plan.

  • Certificate-area standards are based on the Five Core Propositions in the What Book. They define accomplished practice within specific subject areas and student developmental levels.
  • As an initial step, the National Board is refreshing certificate-area standards that discuss literacy instruction. 
  • Descriptions of teaching practices and terminology no longer in general professional use or supported by pedagogical research will be removed from these documents:
  • The Contemporary Relevance Committee, composed of five educators with literacy expertise, has been working on these changes
  • The modified standards will be published alongside addenda listing every textual change. Publication is scheduled for September 2024. 
  • These and all other certificate-area standards will then be revised comprehensively in the near future. Come back here for more details as they are known.

What This Means for Candidates

  • Candidates for certification and maintenance of certification should use the latest version of certificate-area standards posted on this website when preparing for their assessment.
  • Current candidates for certification or maintenance of certification in these areas – Early Childhood Generalist, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts, and Middle Childhood Generalist – may begin working on their submission at any time with the standards currently posted on the website. 
  • Revisions published in September 2024 will not impact component requirements or evidence that candidates are required to submit.

Where to Find National Board Standards

  • The Five Core Propositions and certificate-area standards inform teacher preparation and professional development throughout schools, districts, and universities nationwide. The National Board supports teachers and students across all learning communities.
  • The Five Core Propositions in What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do and the following certificate-area standards constitute the National Board’s full body of professional knowledge.

How National Board Standards Are Developed

  • The National Board assembles standards committees that represent diverse backgrounds and viewpoints. All National Board Standards are written by teachers, for teachers.
  • Committees include National Board Certified Teachers and other experts in preK-12 learning and growth. All educators are selected based on their professional experience and expertise.
  • Committees are formally appointed by the National Board’s Certification Council and reviewed by its Board of Directors. These governing bodies ensure that committees utilize the Five Core Propositions to describe critical aspects of accomplished practice in their certificate area.
  • Committees reflect on advancements in the field, consider what accomplished teaching looks like in different settings and situations, and collaborate to reach professional consensus on what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. 
  • The Five Core Propositions and all National Board Standards are approved and adopted by the Certification Council and Board of Directors.

What the Standards Look Like in Practice

  • The National Board Standards describe the knowledge, skills, abilities, and dispositions that characterize accomplished practice, and ATLAS shows how accomplished teachers demonstrate their practice.
  • ATLAS presents authentic cases of National Board Certified Teachers engaging their students to promote learning in classrooms across the country. Learn more.