2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
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.
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.
Connecticut recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.