NEWS RELEASES 2009-10 :: DECEMBER 16, 2009


State Leads the Nation for the 14th Consecutive Year

RALEIGH - Gov. Bev Perdue today announced that North Carolina once again leads the nation in the total number of teachers who have earned certification by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards with 15,695 teachers now certified. This group of teachers accounts for nearly 19 percent of all the 83,359 National Board Certified teachers in the nation. North Carolina also ranked first in the nation in the number of newly-certified teachers, as the state is home to 1,509 of the 8,874 educators nationwide who earned the recognition this year.

"National Board Certified teachers are essential to helping transform North Carolina's schools," said Gov. Bev Perdue. "Fifteen years ago our state saw its first group of teachers achieve National Board Certification. We continue to be the nation's leader as nearly 16,000 have earned this hallmark distinction. Throughout the years, I have seen first-hand how these outstanding educators have changed the culture of teaching and learning in their classrooms and their schools. Most importantly, research shows that National Board Certified Teachers can be a valuable learning resource to all students, especially students who need them the most."

Three North Carolina school districts are among the nation's top 20 in terms of the number of teachers who achieved National Board Certification in 2009. They include: Charlotte-Mecklenburg-2nd (221), Wake County-3rd (197) and Guilford-9th (69). Five North Carolina school districts are among the nation's top 20 in terms of the number of teachers who achieved National Board Certification over time. They include: Wake County-2nd (1,702), Charlotte-Mecklenburg-5th (1,439), Guilford-11th (592), Forsyth-18th (413) and Buncombe-20th (371).

"National Board Certified teachers bring a high level of enthusiasm, experience and skills to the classroom that benefits not only their students, but also their fellow teachers," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "For that reason, North Carolina is committed to encouraging and supporting all those who seek this valuable certification."

North Carolina supports teachers' efforts to achieve National Board Certification in the following ways:

  • Payment up front of the $2,500 assessment fee. (Teachers are obligated to teach in the state the following year whether or not they achieve certification.)
  • Three paid release days from normal teacher responsibilities to develop their portfolios.
  • A 12-percent salary supplement to the teachers' regular salary, good for the 10-year life of the certification.
  • 15 continuing education units (CEUs) awarded to the individual for completing the National Board Certification process.

The State Board of Education awards a North Carolina teaching license to out-of-state teachers who possess National Board Certification.

"The certification process requires educators to complete hundreds of hours of work outside the classroom in which they reflect on their personal talents, instruction techniques and the subject they teach," said State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison. "When teachers work this hard to build their skills and knowledge, our students reap many rewards from their efforts."

National Board Certification, the highest credential in the teaching profession, requires an extensive series of performance-based assessments including teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes and thorough analyses of the candidates' classroom teaching and student learning. Teachers also complete a series of written exercises that probe the depth of their subject-matter knowledge, as well as their understanding of how to teach those subjects to their students.

National Board Certification was first offered in 1994, when eight North Carolina teachers achieved this professional credential. Since then, the number of teachers in the state receiving the certification has continued to grow. North Carolina has led the nation in the number of National Board Certified teachers for 14 years. The other states in the top three this year are Florida, with 13,281 and South Carolina, with 7,293 certified teachers.

For more information on National Board Certification, go to For more information about North Carolina's national board certified teachers, contact the NCDPI's Information and Communications division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.