Illinois third in nation for number of new teachers achieving highest teaching credentials

Sixth year in a row Illinois attains national ranking 


Springfield, IL – The State Board of Education announced that Illinois ranks third nationally for the number of teachers who achieved National Board Certification in 2011 with Chicago Public Schools District 299 boasting the second highest number of teachers per district earning this professional milestone. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) released the findings this week during an event at the White House recognizing the new class of teachers. This is the sixth consecutive year that Illinois has ranked among the top 10 states for the number of new teachers achieving the profession’s highest credential.

“We commend these teachers for undergoing this rigorous process to evaluate and strengthen their professional skills,” said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. “We all remember our best teachers and they were usually the ones who put students first and constantly worked to improve their skills. National Board Certification is a proven route to help teachers become the best in the profession.”

In 2011, 461 Illinois teachers achieved National Board Certification, which is the highest credential in the teaching profession. Of that number, 141 teachers work in the Chicago Public Schools, District 299. The district ranks second nationally for generating the most new NBCTs last year and in total has 1,893 teachers with National Board Certification.

Illinois teachers are among those who bring the total number of teachers and school counselors certified by NBPTS across the country to more than 97,291 in 2011. Illinois ranks sixth in the country for its cumulative total of NBCT’s with 5,153 teachers to date who have achieved the prestigious certification.

National Board Certification is a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize and retain great teachers – and make them better. Certification is achieved through a rigorous, performance-based assessment that typically takes one to three years to complete. As part of the process, teachers build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, video tapes and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching. Additionally, teachers are assessed on their knowledge of the subjects they teach.

In May 2000, the Illinois State Board of Education began issuing Illinois Master Certificates valid for 10 years and renewal thereafter every 10 years through compliance with requirements set forth by the State Board of Education for NBCTs teachers.

To access more information about NBPTS and National Board Certification you may visit the NBPTS Web site at

To search for National Board Certified teachers in Illinois by district, visit: