For Immediate Release
December 9, 2008

Illinois 5th in nation with more than 700 achieving highest teaching credentials in 2008

3rd year in a row Illinois attains national ranking

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education announced today that Illinois ranks fifth in the nation for having the highest number of teachers achieving National Board Certification in 2008. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) released the findings today as part of the National Board Certification Day. This is the third year in a row that Illinois has been ranked among the top ten states for the number of new teachers achieving the profession’s highest credential.

“I congratulate each and every National Board Certified Teacher in Illinois on achieving this prestigious certification,’’ said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “We know that classroom success begins with the teacher. I commend those who have taken extra steps to increase and improve their skills and knowledge. We believe such gains will translate toward raising student achievement.’’

In 2008, 703 Illinois teachers achieved National Board Certification, which is the highest credential in the teaching profession. That is nearly 200 more teachers than those who achieved the recognition in 2007. Of that number, 327 teachers work in Chicago Public Schools.

Illinois teachers are among those who are expected to push the total number of National Board Certified Teachers across the country to more than 73,000.

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, videotapes 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. Through state appropriations, ISBE also provides an annual $3,000 stipend for National Board Certified Teachers who hold the Illinois Master Certificate as defined by the Illinois Teacher Excellence Act. In addition, nationally certified teachers are eligible to receive additional money if they mentor other teachers.

More information about NBPTS and National Board Certification, visit the NBPTS Web site at

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