Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Delaware's policies for teacher licensing factor evidence of effectiveness into licensure advancement.
Delaware uses a three-tier licensure system; the Initial license, the Continuing license and the Advanced license. To advance from Initial Licensure to Continuing Licensure, applicants must complete a mentoring program and demonstrate satisfactory annual summative evaluations for the period of Initial Licensure. The state requires that teachers have not received more than one unsatisfactory annual evaluation on the state's performance-based teacher evaluation system (which factors student growth as a preponderant criterion into teacher ratings) during the period of Initial Licensure. Advanced Licensure is available for those teachers certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
However, Delaware does not include evidence of effectiveness as a factor in the renewal of a professional license. Most Delaware teachers hold a continuing license, which must be renewed every five years through the completion of 90 clock hours of professional development or six semester hours of graduate school credit.
http://www.doe.k12.de.us/csa/profstds/renewal/profstds_GdelinesrRnwaltLicManual.pdf http://regulations.delaware.gov/AdminCode/title14/1500/1510.shtml#TopOfPage http://www.doe.k12.de.us/csa/profstds/renewal/profstds_GdelinesrRnwaltLicManual.pdf
Require evidence of effectiveness for licensure decisions.
Delaware commendably connects its strong evaluation system (see Goal 3-B) to licensure advancement. Although it need not set the standard for denying licensure—the right to practice in the state—that might result in termination from a particular position, Delaware should consider whether its current policy, which allows a single ineffective rating, is appropriate and sufficient. Further, the state should also factor evaluation evidence into decisions about license renewal.
Discontinue license renewal requirements with no direct connection to classroom effectiveness.
While targeted requirements may potentially expand teacher knowledge and improve teacher practice, Delaware'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.
Delaware recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.