2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
In Iowa, to advance from an Initial license to a Standard license, teachers must complete a state-approved mentoring and induction program and meet state standards as determined by a comprehensive evaluation and two years' successful teaching experience. They must also meet a recency requirement, meaning that teachers who have fewer than 160 days of experience during the five-year period preceding the date of application must complete recent credit in professional education or endorsement areas.
The state also offers a Master Educator's license for teachers who meet a set of criteria including five years of experience and a master's degree. Iowa does not include evidence of effectiveness as a factor in the renewal of a professional license. Teachers must renew their licenses every five years by completing six semester hours at an accredited institution of higher learning.
Iowa Administrative Code 282-13.7(272) http://www.iowa.gov/boee/renewal.html#a
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
Iowa 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 renewal requirements with no direct connection to classroom effectiveness.
While targeted requirements may potentially expand teacher knowledge and improve teacher practice, Iowa's 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.
End requirement tying teacher advancement to master's degrees.
Iowa should remove its mandate that teachers obtain a master's degree for license advancement. 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.
Iowa recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.