More than 2,000 teachers earn National Board certification; 130,000 now teach to the profession’s highest standards

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced today that 2,073 teachers became National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) in the 2020-2021 school year. Showing their deep commitment to student learning and the teaching profession, these teachers represent 49 states plus the District of Columbia. 

With the 5,304 teachers who renewed or maintained their certificate this year, there is now a total of 130,630 teachers from all 50 states who teach to the highest standards in the profession and impact culture and learning for vast numbers of students, schools, and communities.

“What a time to be a teacher! Even with the pandemic and other challenges, all Americans should pause to celebrate the 2,073 new National Board Certified Teachers. They put their teaching to the test, voluntarily challenging themselves, reflecting on their practice and confirming that they are teaching to the highest standards,” said Peggy Brookins, NBCT, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. 

“I also want to add that as we work to seek equity and assure that the NBCT population looks like the general teaching and student population, we saw an increase of nearly 10% in the number of teachers of color earning Board certification. With their impact on students, this growth is exciting,” Brookins added.

Meaningful Metrics

  • 796 districts and 1,701 schools had new NBCTs
  • 38 schools had 3 or more new NBCTs
  • North Carolina (399), Washington (184), Illinois (153), Alabama (135) and California (129) topped the state rankings for the year. 
  • Since inception, North Carolina ranks first overall (23,418), followed by Florida (13,576), Washington (11,777), South Carolina (9,334) and California (7,622). 
  • Wake County, North Carolina had the most new NBCTs of any district nationwide, followed by Los Angeles and Chicago. 
  • Los Angeles developed the most new NBCTs of color; 
  • Additional data is available here and on each individual state page.

Price Elementary School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania led the nation with six new NBCTs. Blazier Elementary School in Austin, Texas had three teachers of color earn Board certification

“One of the things we are most proud of in the School District of Lancaster is our commitment to professional development for all employees, and our teachers embrace that,” School District of Lancaster superintendent Damaris Rau said. “We’re so proud of our 10 teachers, including those at Price Elementary, who achieved Board certification. This distinction confirms what we already know—our school district is blessed with many committed, high-quality teachers.”

“We work to drive teacher quality to help assure that every single young person in America has equal access to the best possible teachers. I applaud all educators because they routinely strive to deliver excellent results on behalf of their students. I am proud of all educators and especially celebrate NBCTs and those engaged in the Board certification process. I encourage all Americans to celebrate teachers today and every day,” said Brookins.


About the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (

The founding mission of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is to advance the quality of teaching and learning by: maintaining high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do; providing a national voluntary system certifying teachers who meet these standards, and advocating related education reforms to integrate National Board Certification in American education and to capitalize on the expertise of National Board Certified Teachers. Recognized as the “gold standard” in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students.