The National Board for
Professional Teaching Standards
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) was created in 1987 as a private, nonprofit organization. It is a voluntary process developed by teachers and other education stakeholders to recognize experienced teachers for the quality of their practice.
National Board Certification signifies that a teacher is accomplished, having met challenging professional teaching standards. This work is guided by five core propositions that state what NBPTS values and believes should be honored in teaching:
- Teachers are committed to students and their learning.
- Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.
- Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.
- Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.
- Teachers are members of learning communities.
To apply as a National Board Certification Candidate, teachers must meet the following requirements and submit proof to National Board:
- Possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
- Have completed three years of successful teaching [or as a School Counselor if applying for the School Counseling certification] at one or more early childhood, elementary, middle or secondary schools
- Hold a valid teaching license for each of those three years (if required)
- Hold a Professional teaching license at the time of application
- Have satisfactory evaluations
The National Board Certification process consists of two major components: the portfolio entries and the assessment center exercises.
The portfolio is completed at the teacher’s school. It includes student work, videotapes and other teaching artifacts, as well as a commentary describing, analyzing and reflecting on this evidence. In addition, teachers must also document their work outside of the classroom with families, the community and their colleagues. This section of the assessment process takes approximately 6 months to complete.
Assessment Center Exercises
The exercises focus on content knowledge across the full age range of a selected certificate area. Teachers demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities with written responses to prompts or stimulus materials. This part of the process may be completed anytime within the time frame established by National Board.
For more information about the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, visit their website: www.nbpts.org
Certificate Areas Available
The NBPTS certificate areas are defined by the developmental ages of the students and the subject being taught.
Early Childhood (ages 3-8)
Early Adolescence (ages 11-15)
Middle Childhood (ages 7-12)
Adolescence and Young Adulthood (ages 14-18+)
|Developmental Age||Certificate Area Available|
Early and Middle
Early Childhood through
Exceptional Needs Specialist
English Language Arts
Early Adolescence through
English Language Arts
Further descriptions of the certificate areas can be found at: http://www.nbpts.org/become_a_candidate/available_certificates1/fields_of_certification
All entries and exercises are scored separately by independent assessors. The final scores are weighted and combined into a weighted total. The total score determines who is certified, and it is only the total that matters. High scores on one entry can compensate for lower scores on another. Thus, any one score cannot determine the certification decision.
Directions for portfolio entries and assessment center exercises contain explanations of how they will be scored. The scoring criteria are the basis for the scoring guide, or rubric, used by assessors in the scoring process.
Scoring is based on all of a candidate’s responses: videotapes, student work samples, candidate’s analysis and written responses to assessment center exercises. Each of these pieces of evidence helps scorers evaluate a candidate’s work in light of the conscious, deliberate, analytical and reflective criteria the National Board standards endorse.
No single teaching approach is mandated or rewarded during scoring. Teachers who have achieved National Board Certification to date have demonstrated vastly different pedagogical approaches, but all have displayed highly accomplished teaching practices.
The NBPTS notifies each candidate of his/her score no later than December 31st of the year that the certification process is completed.
Each candidate has three years from initial date of application to achieve certification. All first-time National Board Certification candidates may bank individual exercises and retake scores for a period of two subsequent, consecutive years from the date of initial score notification. During this two-year period, candidates who did not achieve certification during their initial attempt may retake any combination of portfolio entries and/or assessment center exercises in the assessment package on which they did not meet the individual entry/exercise performance standard. These new responses will be scored and a new total scaled score calculated. There is an additional fee for each retake entry.
Benefits of National Board Certification
- Professional Development
- Leadership Opportunities
- Financial Compensation
- Inservice Points
- License Portability
Achieving National Board Certification is the highest honor in the field of teaching. National Board Certified Teachers exemplify what it means to be accomplished teachers and serve as role models in strengthening the profession. It is the most rigorous professional development experience for teachers and the most rewarding with gains in student motivation and performance.
Many National Board Certified Teachers work in their school, district or state to restructure curriculum, redesign school programs, serve as mentors to other teachers or motivate other teachers with best practices.
There are monetary incentives for pursuing National Board Certification.
Dale Hickam Excellent Teaching Program (ETP).
The ETP is an appropriation bill and must receive legislative approval each year. These guidelines supersede National Board criteria.
Application Fee Subsidy
Two of the teachers who meet the criteria listed below for the 2009-2010 school year will have $1,250 of the NBPTS application fee paid under a federal grant to the state. This is a one-time payment. Should more than two teachers apply, the subsidy will be applied by a random drawing.
- Meet all NBPTS eligibility requirements
- Instructional personnel, full time [part time and substitute teachers are ineligible]
- Engaged exclusively in activities that further student achievement
- Teaching students a majority of the time
- Teaching at a high needs school [in Charlotte County these schools are: Sallie Jones Elementary, Charlotte High, Peace River Elementary, East Elementary, Neil Armstrong Elementary, Meadow Park Elementary, Vineland Elementary, Liberty Elementary, Myakka River Elementary, Deep Creek Elementary, Kingsway Elementary, and Crossroads Wilderness School]
- Document a satisfactory performance appraisal on the last regular annual performance evaluation from a Florida public K-12 school
- Pay a $65 application fee
- Agree to participate in the NBPTS certification program during the school year in which the subsidy is paid
Note: Candidates must complete both the portfolio and the assessment center exercises in their first year. Candidates may also withdraw from the certification process provided they follow the criteria and procedures established by the ETP.
One salary compensation is awarded to National Board Certified Teachers annually during the initial life of the certificate (10 years).
- An annual compensation equal to 10% of the prior year’s average statewide teacher’s salary. National Board Certified Teachers each received a bonus of approximately $4,600 in June, 2009 for the 2008/2009 school year.
- An annual compensation equal to 10% of the prior year’s average statewide teacher’s salary to teachers who provide 84 hours of mentoring services outside student contact hours to any full time teacher in Florida who is not an NBCT. [Note: the legislature did not provide enough funding for this compensation to be paid during the 2008/2009 nor the 2009/2010 school year.]
Note: A National Board Certified Teacher must receive a satisfactory annual performance appraisal and receive a positive teacher evaluation to be eligible for the incentives.
For more information about the Dale Hickam Excellent Teaching Program visit the ETP website at: http://www.firn.edu/doe/etp/
Charlotte County teachers who participate in the National Board Certification process are eligible for inservice points:
- Teachers who complete the portfolio process are awarded 60 inservice points.
- It is not necessary to certify to receive the 60 inservice points
Many states recognize National Board Certification as a means of meeting the requirements for license renewal. Florida will grant a license to National Board Certified Teachers who come from out-of-state. For more information about what each state offers, visit the National Board website.
A candidate support network is available to help candidates through the certification process.
Many current National Board Certified Teachers serve as mentors providing assistance and support for candidates. Mentors meet with candidates on a regular basis throughout the school year to encourage collaboration, sharing, peer critique and conversation about the process. Each candidate is given the opportunity to work with a National Board Certified Teacher in the district. It is voluntary, but strongly recommended. Examples of mentor support:
- Review candidate entries and make recommendations to strengthen their written material
- Coach candidates towards making decisions about the evidence they submit
- Help interpret the standards by which all portfolios and assessment center exercises are scored
- Provide feedback on the candidates’ classroom videotapes
- Support candidates who are retaking portions of the certification process
State Fee Subsidy Application Procedures
Applications for the state fee subsidy - Dale Hickam Excellent Teaching Program - are available on an annual basis during a specified time. The application period for the 2009-2010 school year in Charlotte County is: June 1, 2008 through September 23, 2009. All applications must be made directly online with NBPTS at the www.nbpts.org website. Check with the National Board Coordinator, Pamela Windspirit, if you require further information or assistance with this application.
Once this application period is over no applications may be accepted for the fee subsidy program. Candidates are responsible for the entire application fee of $2,500. However, they are entitled to the assistance offered through the district candidate support network. In addition, they are entitled to the financial incentives offered through the Dale Hickam Excellent Teaching Program once they achieve National Board Certification.
These files are available for download: