Licensure Advancement : Georgia

Identifying Effective Teachers Policy


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

Meets a small part of goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Licensure Advancement : Georgia results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of Georgia's policies

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.  


Recommendations for Georgia

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.

State response to our analysis

Georgia 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:; 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:; 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:; 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:; 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: