National Board Certification

Published: 12/7/2017 2:48 PM

What is National Board Certification?
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards was established in 1987 as the teaching profession’s vehicle for defining and recognizing accomplished teaching. National Board Certification, which is built upon National Board Standards and the National Board’s Five Core Propositions, is the profession’s mark of accomplished teaching. To date, more than 112,000 teachers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have achieved National Board Certification.

Why become National Board certified?
“Recognized as the gold standard in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students” (NBPTS webpage). Research shows that the students of Board-certified teachers learn more than students in other classrooms, which is why many states and districts, including Kentucky, offer incentives for teachers to pursue Board certification. National Board certification in Kentucky In July, 2000, the Kentucky General Assembly established in KRS 161.131 a goal that by the year 2020, every public school in Kentucky would have at least one National Board certified teacher. The goal was based upon the General Assembly’s findings that:

  • Student achievement is directly related to a teacher’s ability to nurture learning
  • All students are entitled to have teachers who know the subjects they teach and who demonstrate skill to manage and monitor student learning
  • Teachers need support and opportunity to develop higher-level skills throughout their careers
  • National Board certification is based upon high and rigorous standards and provides a process of development and assessment of teachers’ knowledge, skill and ability
  • And that teachers who successfully meet National Board certification requirements strengthen the teaching profession by mentoring new teachers, serving as role models and master teachers for teacher candidates, and assisting other teachers who seek National Board certification.
To date, 3,292 teachers in Kentucky have achieved National Board Certification.
In recognition of the significance of National Board Certification in Kentucky, Governor Matt Bevin proclaimed February 23rd, 2017 as National Board Certified Teacher Day.

Newly certified teachers and those renewing their certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards pose in the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History after a ceremony in Frankfort recognizing their accomplishment. There were 18 teachers certified for the first time last year, and 101 renewed their certification.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, Feb. 23, 2017 
The Network to Transform Teaching (NT3)
The Kentucky Department of Education, the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) and the Kentucky Education Association (KEA) are partnering with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to dramatically increase the number of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) across the state and place them in instructional leadership roles in high-need schools through the Network to Transform Teaching. For more information on this partnership and how to become a candidate for National Board certification, contact Suzanne Farmer, Kentucky’s NT3 Site Director, at
Robin Hebert
Office of Teaching and Learning
Division of Next Generation Professionals
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, Ky 40601
(502) 564-1479
Fax (502) 564-6470