Spanish version of What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do Released

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards today released a Spanish version of the foundational Lo que los maestros deberian saber y poder hacer (What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do) book — also known as the What book. By translating the What book into Spanish, the National Board has increased access to this essential professional document for Spanish-speaking teachers, aspiring educators, parents, students and others who work to ensure students achieve at the highest levels. With 39 million Spanish-speakers in the United States today, this is an important first step toward ensuring that people who speak the most common non-English language in our country are able to engage in the National Board certification process.

 First published in 1989 and updated in 2016, the What book articulates what it means, in concrete terms, to teach to the highest standards by describing the National Board’s Five Core Propositions for teaching. Similar to medicine’s Hippocratic Oath, the Five Core Propositions are common for teachers of all grade levels and disciplines. Together, the propositions serve as the foundation for National Board certification – created by teachers, for teachers – as the profession’s mark of accomplished teaching. 

 “Nearly one in seven Americans speak Spanish at home and the Latinx community comprises the largest minority group in our country. We need more Spanish-speaking accomplished teachers in our nation’s classrooms to ensure that we are meeting the needs of every student. By translating this important document into Spanish, we hope to help teachers better advance learning and achievement for all students,” said Peggy Brookins, NBCT, President and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. 

 Right now, nearly a quarter of all students in our nation’s public schools are Latinx, yet only 8% of all teachers are Latinx. Studies have shown that, for students of color, having teachers that reflect their background and identities improves academic performance and graduation rates, and also leads to more positive outcomes for all students. A diverse teaching profession is essential to student success.

 “The National Board is committed to increasing the number of Latinx National Board Certified Teachers in our nation’s classrooms,” said Brookins. “This Spanish version of the What book helps us take a step toward reaching our goal.”

En Espanol

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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: 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.