The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
While Georgia includes teacher performance information in its teacher licensing policies, license advancement does not appear to be based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
To advance to a Clear Renewable Certificate, the state requires that teachers complete a state-approved program as well as special Georgia requirements, including passing scores on content knowledge assessments, FBI background checks, study or experience within five years of application and proficiency on an approved test or course of computer skill competency. Also, any teacher certified in the fields of early childhood education, middle grades, mental retardation, learning disabilities, behavior disorders, interrelated special education and interrelated special education/early childhood must also complete specified coursework in the teaching of reading and writing.
Teachers in Georgia must renew their teaching licenses every five years. In order to renew their licenses, teachers may not have two or more unsatisfactory evaluations during the previous five-year validity cycle that have not been "satisfactorily remediated" by the employing school system. Teachers who receive two unremediated, unsatisfactory performance evaluations may request a one-year nonrenewable waiver certificate. These requests are reviewed by the Professional Standards Commission. During the validity period, the individual must demonstrate that the performance deficiency has been satisfactorily addressed as verified by the employer. If the deficiency is addressed, the teacher may apply for a four-year renewable license.
As a result of House Bill 1307, teachers with licenses expiring between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2015, will not be required to complete any professional learning units in order to apply for renewal of their certificates.
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
Georgia 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. Georgia's requirement that teachers cannot have multiple unsatisfactory evaluations does not accomplish this purpose, since the state's requirements do not ensure that classroom effectiveness is considered in all teachers' evaluations (see Goal 3-B).
Make repeal of coursework requirements for licensure renewal permanent policy.
While targeted requirements may potentially expand teacher knowledge and improve teacher practice, 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.
Georgia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.