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

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Fifth 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 2010 and ranks sixth in the nation for the cumulative total of teachers who have earned this professional milestone. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) released the findings today as part of National Board Certification Day. This is the fifth year in a row that Illinois has ranked among the top 10 states for the number of new teachers achieving the profession’s highest credential.

“Great teachers make all the difference and National Board Certification is a proven route for teachers to improve their skills,’’ said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “We commend these teachers for undergoing this rigorous process to evaluate and strengthen their professional skills. Their hard work will improve student learning and benefit colleagues.’’

In 2010, 771 Illinois teachers achieved National Board Certification, which is the highest credential in the teaching profession. Of that number, 302 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 1,755 teachers with the 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 91,000 in 2010. Illinois ranks sixth in the country for its cumulative total of NBCTs with 4,692 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. ISBE also provides an annual stipend for National Board Certified Teachers who hold the Illinois Master Certificate as defined by the Illinois Teacher Excellence Act, pending availability of state funds. In addition, nationally certified teachers are eligible to receive additional money if they mentor other 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


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