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West Virginia NBPTS Resource Center

About Us

In 1983, public concern about the state of American education was sharply heightened by the issuance of a federal report titled A Nation at Risk. The report provoked a wave of reform initiatives that engulfed the education community. Most of these programs, however, left out a critical element of the education equation: the classroom teacher. Three years after A Nation at Risk, the Carnegie Task Force on Teaching as a Profession issued a pivotal report, A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century. Its leading recommendation called for the establishment of a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The following year, this unique institution in the history of American education was born.

The mission of the NBPTS is to establish high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do; to develop and operate a national, voluntary system to assess and certify teachers who meet these standards; and to advance related education reforms for the purpose of improving student learning in American schools.

National Board Certification, developed by teachers, with teachers, and for teachers, is a symbol of professional teaching excellence. Offered on a voluntary basis, it complements, not replaces, state licensing. While state licensing systems set entry-level standards for beginning teachers, National Board Certification has established advanced standards for experienced teachers. The NBPTS assessments for National Board Certification include having teachers construct a portfolio that represents an analysis of their classroom work and participate in exercises designed to tap the knowledge, skills, disposition and professional judgment that distinguish their practice.

The NBPTS seeks to identify and recognize teachers who effectively enhance student learning and demonstrate the high level of knowledge, skills, abilities, and commitmentsreflected in the five core propositions:

  1. Teachers are committed to students and their learning.
  2. Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.
  3. Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.
  4. Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.
  5. Teachers are members of learning communities.

The NBPTS offers certifications in many of the content areas taught in today's schools. Although not all areas are covered, the NBPTS adds new certification areas each year. Currently, certifications are available in areas such as Generalist, English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies-History, Math, Exceptional Needs Specialist, Music, Library-Media, World Languages Other than English, Art, English as a New Language, Career and Technical Education, Physical Education, and School Counselor.

The NBPTS ( has an in-depth website that answers many of the questions that are not addressed here or you can call 1-800-22TEACH.