For Immediate Release
December 16, 2009

Illinois fourth in nation with more than 730 achieving highest teaching credentials in 2009

Fourth year in a row Illinois attains national ranking

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education announced today that Illinois ranks fourth in the nation for having the highest number of teachers achieving National Board Certification in 2009. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) released the findings today as part of National Board Certification Day. This is the fourth 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.

 “We commend each and every National Board Certified Teacher in Illinois on achieving this prestigious certification,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “We know the extra steps they have taken to increase and improve their skills will have a ripple effect on the students they teach for years to come.  Today, we celebrate their accomplishments but years from now, we will be celebrating the accomplishments and success of their students.”

 In 2009, 732 Illinois teachers achieved National Board Certification, which is the highest credential in the teaching profession. Of that number, 302 teachers work in Chicago Public Schools.

 Illinois teachers are among those who bring the total number of teachers and school counselors certified by National Board for Professional Teaching Standards across the country to more than 82,000.  Illinois ranks sixth in the country for its cumulative total of NBCT’s with 3,923 teachers to date who have achieved 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 provide 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.

 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