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National Board Certification for Illinois Educators

What is National Board Certification?
National Board Certification is an advanced, voluntary teaching credential that identifies teachers who have met the high and rigorous standards of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). It was designed to develop, retain, and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools across the nation.
More than 112,000 teachers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have become National Board Certified. As of 2016, more than 6,000 Illinois educators have earned this distinguished certification; Illinois ranks sixth nationwide in number of teachers earning National Board Certification.
IFT President Dan Montgomery is a former member of the NBPTS board, and Executive Vice President Karen GJ Lewis has earned this distinguished certification.

Who can become a NBCT candidate?
Applicants must hold a Bachelor's degree, have completed three years of teaching, and must have a valid state teaching or school counseling license.

Who established the Standards?
National Board Standards are developed by teachers, for teachers. A committee comprised primarily of practicing educators first determined what teachers should know and be able to do in 25 certificate areas. They also established five core propositions which set the profession’s vision for accomplished teaching.
The core propositions are:
    1.    Teachers are committed to students and their learning.
    2.    Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.
    3.    Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.
    4.    Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.
    5.    Teachers are members of learning communities.  

The Standards and the National Board Certification assessment process are grounded in these propositions.  

What does the process entail?
Teachers seeking certification must analyze their teaching contexts and students’ needs, submit videos of their teaching, and provide student work samples that exhibit growth and achievement. It is a rigorous and time-intensive process. Completion instructions vary based on the certificate area in which you choose to certify, as do the Standards assessed by each of these four components:
    1.    Content knowledge
    2.    Differentiation in instruction
    3.    Teaching practice and learning environment
    4.    Effective and reflective practice

Why should I become a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT)?
National Board Certification is the most respected professional certification available in the education profession. Research shows that National Board Certified teachers have a powerful impact on student learning. That’s why many districts offer salary increases for those who earn National Board Certification.
Certification may also provide greater job or advancement opportunities, as school and district administrators may look for NBCTs first when making hiring decisions or identifying teachers who should serve as school leaders.

How do I begin the process?
Visit the NBPTS website to get started. Here you can learn about the NBCT eligibility requirements and view or print this detailed guide
You can also visit the NBRC (National Board Resource Center) website. This resource center at Illinois State University is partnered with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to provide administrative and technical support to NBCTs and candidates, including how to begin the application process, information on Illinois’ candidate fee subsidies, and more.

Illinois Federation of Teachers hosts 2019 Convention

by Jennifer Visk | Oct 21, 2019
Governor Pritzker is keynote speaker, CTU President Karen Lewis is honored
Nearly 400 delegates and guests from around the state convened in Rosemont this weekend to conduct union business at the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) 2019 Convention. Topping the agenda for the high-energy event was important conversation about the union’s support for the Fair Tax constitutional amendment, as well as the election of statewide officers.

Daniel J. Montgomery (Local 1274) was reelected to his fourth term as IFT President, while Stacy Davis-Gates (Local 1) was elected as Executive Vice President and Jane Russell (Local 571) was reelected to a second term as Secretary-Treasurer. Forty IFT vice presidents were also elected to represent members in local unions across Illinois.
Governor JB Pritzker was the convention’s keynote speaker. He thanked the crowd for their support in his campaign and for partnering with him during his first year in office to pass an impressive list of legislation that will benefit students and schools, improve state services, and strengthen our unions.
The governor also advocated for the Fair Tax, saying that to avoid massive cuts to education and programs or a 15 percent increase in the state’s flat tax, “There’s only one choice, and that is to say YES to a Fair Tax.”
“Our future depends on education,” he added. “I thank you for lifting up the entire state of Illinois with everything you do each day.”
Convention goers expressed their support for striking Chicago teachers and school staff in Chicago Teachers Union (Local 1) and SEIU Local 73, who were forced to the picket lines on Thursday in their struggle to secure smaller class sizes, adequate staffing, and educational justice for all students. 
IFT President Dan Montgomery gave a state of the union address, which included expressing the statewide union’s support for CTU and all locals that may be forced to strike to fight for the schools every student deserves.
“We are here for you CTU. Wherever we have members in the struggle, we will be there. If Chicago kids are denied their basics rights, then every kid in every school district is denied theirs too.
“This isn’t just about Chicago,” he added. “From Kankakee to Peoria to Joliet to our rural districts, the need for adequate resources is a civil rights issue, not just a union issue.”
Montgomery also introduced a special order of business to honor former longtime CTU President and retiring IFT Executive Vice-President Karen GJ Lewis, who attended to accept heartfelt gratitude from the IFT for her nearly 30 years of service. After delegates were shown a moving video highlighting her accomplishments, Lewis spoke to the standing-room-only crowd.

“I’m not a militant, I’m just an advocate for everybody,” she said. “And I want you to advocate for your students, your members, your communities, and for whichever candidates you like.

“Remember that nobody is going to give you anything,” she added. “You have to take it.”
In addition to hearing remarks from speakers including, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, State Representative Mary Edly-Allen (Dist. 51), and AFT President Randi Weingarten, delegates debated and voted on dozens of resolutions that will help set the union’s policies and direction for the next three years. Resolutions addressed on the floor included support for passing a Fair Tax, the importance of diversity in our workplaces and unions, the need to address the state’s teacher shortage, ensuring safe workplaces for educators and school staff, protecting and supporting immigrant students and their families, and more.



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