This Vision Keeps us Focused
From our founding in 1987, the National Board’s mission has been to advance the quality of teaching and learning through a voluntary advanced certification. That vision is inspired by the model from other professions, such as medicine, where board certification symbolizes accomplished practice, both within the profession and in the larger community.
Teachers, administrators and others who work to support best practice in our schools should embrace that vision to rethink the trajectory people follow to become accomplished teachers. Getting that path right, and making sure all teachers follow it, can strengthen our shared understanding of the body of knowledge and skills teachers need; that in turn can lead to a level of consistent quality that is the hallmark of all true professions.
The public agrees: An important PDK/Gallup poll shows that 80% of Americans believe that teachers should achieve Board certification, beyond licensure, as in other professions such as medicine. At the National Board, we are working to ensure that every teacher in America is on a path to accomplished teaching—by design and not by exception.
The road we’re building is a career continuum for teachers. It starts in pre-service teacher preparation, leading aspiring teachers to pursue and achieve Board certification. The continuum culminates in meaningful teacher leadership roles for those who wish to seek them.
There is consensus that teacher quality is the most important school-based variable determining how well a child learns. It explains why all Americans should care about what it will take to create and sustain a teaching workforce defined by accomplished practice.