Licensure Advancement : Connecticut

Identifying Effective Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.

Does not meet
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Licensure Advancement : Connecticut results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/CT-Licensure-Advancement--8

Analysis of Connecticut's policies

Connecticut's requirements for licensure advancement and renewal are not based on evidence of teacher effectiveness. 

Connecticut's three-tier continuum for teacher certifications includes the Initial Educator Certificate, Provisional Educator Certificate and Professional Educator Certificate. To advance to the second tier, the Provisional Certificate (which is valid for eight years), teachers are required to complete 10 months of successful appropriate experience under the Initial Educator Certificate or Interim Initial Educator Certificate in a Connecticut public school and the teacher induction/mentoring program, as made available by the Connecticut State Board of Education, or 30 months of experience within 10 years in an approved system. To advance to the third tier, the Professional Certificate, teachers are required to complete 30 months of experience under the Provisional Certificate and any additional coursework prescribed for the endorsement requested, generally a master's degree or 30 semester hours of graduate credit.

Connecticut does not include evidence of effectiveness as a factor in the renewal of a professional license. The state requires teachers to renew their licenses every five years by completing nine continuing education units, the equivalent of 90 hours of professional development or six hours of graduate credit from a regionally accredited institution.

Citation

Recommendations for Connecticut

Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
Connecticut should require evidence of teacher effectiveness to be a factor in determining whether teachers can renew their licenses or advance to a higher-level license. 

Discontinue license requirements with no direct connection to classroom effectiveness.
While targeted requirements may potentially expand teacher knowledge and improve teacher practice, Connecticut's general, nonspecific coursework requirements for license advancement and renewal merely call for teachers to complete a certain amount of seat time. These requirements do not correlate with teacher effectiveness.

End teacher advancement tied to master's degrees.
Connecticut should revise its policy for its Professional Certification by removing the expectation that teachers will obtain a master's degree or its equivalent in coursework. Research is conclusive and emphatic that master's degrees do not have any significant correlation to classroom performance. Rather, advancement should be based on evidence of teacher effectiveness. 

State response to our analysis

Connecticut recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

For a meta-analysis of the research on the relationship between advanced degrees and teacher effectiveness, see Metin and Stevenson, "The Impact of Teachers' Advanced Degrees on Student Learning" which has been published as an appendix in Arizona's Race to the Top: What Will It Take to Compete? (NCTQ, 2009). 

Studies in the analysis include: Clotfelter, C. T., Ladd, H. F., & Vigdor, J. L. (2004) Teacher sorting, teacher shopping, and the assessment of teacher effectiveness. Clotfelter, C. T., Ladd, H. F., & Vigdor, J. L. (2006) Teacher-student matching and the assessment of teacher effectiveness. Retrieved May 20, 2009 from the National Bureau of Economic Research web site: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11936; Clotfelter, C. T. Ladd, H. F., & Vigdor, J. L. (2007) How and why do teacher credentials matter for student achievement? Ehrenberg, R. G., & Brewer, D. J. (1994) Do school and teacher characteristics matter? Evidence from high school and beyond. Economics of Education Review, 13, 1-17; Goldhaber, D., & Anthony, E. (2007) Can teacher quality be effectively assessed? National board certification as a signal of effective teaching. Review of Economics and Statistics, 89(1), 134-150; Goldhaber, D. D., & Brewer, D. J. (1997) Why don't schools and teachers seem to matter? Assessing the impact of unobservables on educational productivity. The Journal of Human Resources, 3, 505-523; Goldhaber, D. & Brewer, D. J. (2000) Does teacher certification matter? High school teacher certification status and student achievement. Educational and Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 22(2), 129-145; Hanushek, E. A., Kain, J. F., O'Brien, D. M., & Rivkin, S. G. (2005) The market for teacher quality. Retrieved May 20, 2009 from the National Bureau of Economic Research web site: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11154.pdf; Hanushek, E. A., Kain, J. F., & Rivkin, S. G. (1998) Teachers, schools, and academic achievement. Retrieved May 20, 2009 from the National Bureau of Economic Research web site:http://www.nber.org/papers/w6691.pdf; Harris, D. N., & Sass, T. R. (2006) Value-added models and the measurement of teacher quality. Harris, D. N., & Sass, T. R. (2007a) What makes for a good teacher and who can tell? Harris, D. N., & Sass, T. R. (2007b) Teacher training, teacher quality, and student achievement. Retrieved May 20, 2009 from the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research web site: http://www.caldercenter.org/PDF/1001059_Teacher_Training.pdf; Harris, D. N., & Sass, T. R. (2008) The effects of NBPTS-certified teachers on student achievement. National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research; Jeptson, C. (2005) Teacher characteristics and student achievement: Evidence from teacher surveys. Journal of Urban Economics, 57,302-319; Monk, D. H. (1994) Subject area preparation of secondary mathematics and science teachers and student achievement. Economics of Educational Review, 13, 125-145; Riordan, J. (2006, April) Is there a relationship between No Child Left Behind indicators of teacher quality and the cognitive and social development of early elementary students? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association, San Francisco, CA; Schneider, B. L. (1985) Further evidence of school effects. Journal of Educational Research, 78, 351-356.

For evidence on the lack of correlation between education coursework and teacher effectiveness, see M.B. Allen, "Eight Questions on Teacher Preparation: What Does the Research Say?" Education Commission of the States, (2003) at: http://www.ecs.org/html/educationIssues/teachingquality/tpreport/home/summary.pdf.