More than 5,400 Teachers Achieve National Board Certification, Increasing Total to More than 118,000 Board-Certified Teachers Nationwide

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards celebrates 5,470 new National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) and another 3,957 Board-certified teachers who successfully renewed their certification. These teachers join a growing community of Board-certified teachers, now more than 118,000 strong across all 50 states.  Each of these accomplished educators earned the profession’s highest mark of achievement through a rigorous, performance-based, peer-review process, demonstrating their proven impact on student learning and achievement.

“I’m so proud to celebrate our new National Board Certified Teachers. This is a great personal accomplishment, but it’s more than that – this accomplishment is reason to celebrate the impact Board-certified teachers have on millions of students nationwide and on the teaching profession at-large. School principals, superintendents and other system leaders from across the country regularly tell me that NBCTs are making a difference in their students’ learning, strengthening their schools and their communities,” said Peggy Brookins, NBCT, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

This year’s new Board-certified teachers are the first to certify under the redesigned assessment, developed to be more flexible and accessible for teachers. Alongside the redesigned assessment, the National Board has released an updated edition of the foundational What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do document and a new Toolkit for School and System Leaders, that shares why and how to embed Board certification as a strategy to improve teacher development and retention. With nearly 20,000 candidates pursuing certification and new innovative approaches for integrating National Board Standards, National Board Certification, and ATLAS into professional learning systems, the National Board is seeing significant interest and engagement by teaching professionals and policymakers alike.

Highlights from this year’s class of new Board-certified teachers

  • Widening reach: There are new NBCTs in 3,727 schools in 1,145 districts across 48 states
  • Growing concentrations in schools, districts, and states:
    • 370 schools have 3 or more new NBCTs
    • 119 districts have 10 or more new NBCTs
    • 15 states have more than 100 new NBCTs, with 5 states having more than 300 new NBCTs
    • Washington, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Nevada, Hawaii, New Mexico and Colorado increased their total NBCTs by more than 10%
  • Increasing diversity and equity: National Board Certification is reaching a broader swath of teachers and students than ever before
    • In Los Angeles, the district with the largest class of new NBCTs with 166; 92 teachers of color achieved National Board Certification
    • More than 20 of the new NBCTs teach in Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) affiliated schools. BIE affiliated schools more than quadrupled the number of NBCTs in their system since 2014 and have hundreds of teachers working towards certification
    • 48% of new NBCTs and also current candidates work in Title 1 schools.

“Earning Board certification helped me to focus on really knowing and meeting the needs of my students while enhancing collaboration with colleagues. The experience was great professional learning because it occurred in my classroom with my students in my subject area and truly improved me as a teacher,” said Luke Wilcox, NBCT, a new Board-certified teacher and math teacher at East Kentwood High School and Michigan’s current Teacher of the Year.

Reflecting on the changes to the certification process, Renee Moore, NBCT, the 2001 Mississippi Teacher of the Year and former member of the NBPTS Board of Directors and Certification Council said, “The new National Board certification process has put the opportunity to become a certified, highly accomplished teacher within reach for more of today’s teachers across an ever-widening field. National Board Certification advances our profession by focusing on students’ learning and teachers’ performance along the range of our professional work. The predominantly performance-based certification process itself honors the complexity and humanity of teachers and students.”

Celebrating #TeamNBCT Week

During the week of January 8, Educators across the country will celebrate all Board-certified teachers with #TeamNBCT week. The activities local celebrations, online recognition of their contributions and also a Twitter chat done in conjunction with the Hope Street Group’s Arizona fellows, to be held Tuesday, January 9 at 8pm ET.

“National Board Certification is about helping teachers become great, it is about elevating the teaching profession, and it is about helping children achieve at higher rates,” said Brookins. “The certification process impacts teaching and learning well beyond an individual teacher’s classroom.”

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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: (1) maintaining high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do; (2) providing a national voluntary system certifying teachers who meet these standards; and (3) 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.