2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Arizona's requirements for licensure advancement and renewal are not based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Arizona defines two types of certifications based on grade level. To advance from a Provisional Elementary Certificate to a Standard Elementary Certificate (grades K-8), teachers must receive a passing score on the performance portion of the Arizona Teacher Proficiency Assessment and complete 45 hours or three semesters of instruction in research-based systematic phonics. Advancement from the Provisional Secondary Certificate to a Standard Secondary Certificate (grades 7-12) requires a passing score on the performance portion of the Arizona Teacher Proficiency Assessment.
However, it does not appear that a performance assessment is actually required. The website for the Arizona Teacher Proficiency Assessment only identifies subject-matter and professional knowledge tests, and the application for conversion from a provisional to a standard certificate makes no reference to passing a performance assessment.
Arizona does not require that teachers demonstrate effectiveness in order to renew a professional license. Arizona teachers must renew their licenses once every six years. The application for renewal of teaching certificate requires that teachers complete 180 hours of professional development activities or 12 hours of education coursework posted on official transcripts.
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
Arizona should require evidence of teacher effectiveness to be a factor in determining whether teachers earn advanced licenses.
Discontinue licensure requirements with no direct connection to classroom effectiveness.
While some targeted requirements—such as Arizona's requirement for study of research-based phonics instruction—may potentially expand teacher knowledge and improve teacher practice, Arizona's other general, nonspecific coursework requirements for license renewal merely call for teachers to complete a certain amount of seat time. These requirements do not correlate with teacher effectiveness.
Arizona recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.