Illinois continues to progress in ad-vancing National Board Certification with the announcement of 461 NEW National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) in 2011. This year the state ranked third nationwide with the num-ber of teachers achieving board certi-fication and sixth in the total number of NBCTs over time (5,153). 2011’s class of teachers who achieved Na-tional Board Certification pushed the number of NBCTs across the country to 100,000. National Board Certifica-tion is recognized as a model for identifying accomplished teaching practices and is supported by teachers and administrators nationwide. While state li-censing systems set the basic requirements to teach in each state, National Board Certified Teachers have demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge skills and practices. NBPTS certification identifies qualified teachers as lead-ers in their field, much like the certifications earned by experts in law and medicine. Completion of NBPTS National Board Certification process signifies that the certificated teachers have developed and demonstrated the skills re-quired of a true education professional.