NCATE is the profession’s mechanism to help establish high-quality teacher preparation. Through the process of professional accreditation of schools, colleges and departments of education, NCATE works to make a difference in the quality of teaching and teacher preparation today, tomorrow, and for the next century.

NCATE is a coalition of 33 specialty professional associations of teachers, teacher educators, content specialists, and local and state policy makers. All are committed to quality teaching, and together the coalition represents over 3 million individuals. See Table B-1.


The mission of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (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. Governed by a 63-member board of directors, the majority of whom are classroom teachers, the National Board is dedicated to bringing teaching the respect and recognition this important work deserves.

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 Five Propositions of Accomplished Teaching

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards seeks to identify and recognize teachers who effectively enhance student learning and demonstrate the high level of knowledge, skills, abilities, and commitments reflected in the following five core propositions.

Proposition #1. Teachers are Committed to Students and Their Learning.

Accomplished teachers are dedicated to making knowledge accessible to all students. They act on the belief that all students can learn. They treat students equitably, recognizing the individual differences that distinguish one student


National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, 1994. Used by permission of author.

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