Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness. This goal is reorganized for 2021.
Evidence of Effectiveness: Hawaii's requirements for licensure advancement and renewal are not based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Advancing to a Professional License: Hawaii requires that teachers, to advance to a standard license, verify three years of full-time teaching experience and clear a "professional fitness check." To obtain an advanced license, teachers must show proof of one of the following: an advanced degree, National Board certification, or verification of designation as a teacher leader or master teacher. Teachers must also submit verification of five years of full-time experience, within the last eight years.
Renewing a Professional License: Hawaii requires teachers to renew their standard licenses every five years. Renewal applicants must demonstrate that they have met the Hawaii Teacher Performance Standards. Although these standards do not include evidence of effectiveness as measured by student growth, one option on the form is to submit a recent (less than a year old) evaluation based on the state's evaluation system, which does include a student growth component. Teachers with a satisfactory rating in all areas of the performance evaluation may use that to satisfy all teacher performance standards. Further, teachers are not required to submit documentation prior to renewal. They must keep copies of evidence that they have met the performance standards in case they are chosen for an audit by the Hawaii Teachers Standards Board. If, and only if, they are selected for an audit would an HTSB official review the teacher's evidence of having met performance standards.
Standard License Requirements http://hawaiiteacherstandardsboard.org/content/wp-content/uploads/REQ-STANDARD-LICENSE-rev7-13-20.pdf Advanced License Requirements http://hawaiiteacherstandardsboard.org/content/wp-content/uploads/REQ-ADVANCED-LICENSE-rev7-13-20.pdf Renewal Information https://hawaiiteacherstandardsboard.org/content/renewing-your-license/
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
Hawaii should require evidence of teacher effectiveness to be a factor in determining whether teachers may renew or advance to a higher-level license. Although the state requires that teachers be able to demonstrate how they satisfy the Hawaii Teacher Performance Standards, the state should go further to make review of every teacher's performance verification documentation mandatory for advancement or renewal.
End requirement tying teacher advancement to master's degrees.
Hawaii should remove its mandate that teachers obtain a master's degree for optional license advancement. Research is clear that master's degrees generally do not have any significant correlation with classroom performance. Rather, advancement should be based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Hawaii recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
9A: Licensure Advancement
The reason for probationary licensure should be to determine teacher effectiveness. Most states grant new teachers a probationary license that must later be converted to an advanced or professional license. A probationary period is sound policy as it provides an opportunity to determine whether individuals merit professional licensure. However, very few states require any determination of teacher performance or effectiveness in deciding whether a teacher will advance from the probationary license. Instead, states generally require probationary teachers to fulfill a set of requirements to receive advanced certification. Therefore, ending the probationary period is based on whether a checklist has been completed rather than on teacher performance and effectiveness.
Most state requirements for achieving professional certification have not been shown to affect teacher effectiveness. Unfortunately, not only do most states fail to connect advanced certification to actual evidence of teacher effectiveness, but also the requirements teachers must most often meet are not even related to teacher effectiveness. The most common requirement for professional licensure is completion of additional coursework, often resulting in a master's degree. Requiring teachers to obtain additional training in their teaching area would be meaningful; however, the requirements are usually vague, allowing the teacher to fulfill coursework requirements from long menus that include areas having no connection or use to the teacher in the classroom. The research evidence on requiring a master's degree is quite conclusive: with rare exceptions, these degrees have not been shown to make teachers more effective. This is likely due in no small part to the fact that teachers may not attain master's degrees in their subject areas.
In addition to their dubious value, these requirements may also serve as a disincentive to teacher retention. Talented probationary teachers may be unwilling to invest time and resources in more education coursework. Further, they may well pursue advanced degrees that facilitate leaving teaching.