2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Illinois is on the right track when it comes to basing licensure advancement and renewal on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
In Illinois, to advance from an Initial Certificate to a Standard Certificate, the state requires four years of teaching on an Initial Certificate as well as the completion of one of the following 10 options: completion of an approved induction and mentoring program; completion of at least four semester hours of graduate level coursework on the assessment of one's own performance in relation to the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards; completion of at least four semester hours of graduate-level coursework addressing requirements for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification; completion of at least 12 semester hours of graduate-level coursework toward an advanced degree; accumulation of 60 continuing professional development units; completion of a performance-based assessment; completion of the requirements for "highly qualified" teacher consideration; earning a post-baccalaureate, education-related certificate; completion of all activities pertaining to NBPTS certification; or earning a subsequent certificate or additional endorsement.
Teachers must renew their licenses every five years by completing approved professional development, including six semester hours of graduate credit or 120 clock hours of professional development aligned with Illinois standards.
Recent legislation allows the superintendent to suspend or revoke a certificate for incompetency, which is now defined as receiving an unsatisfactory rating on a performance evaluation for two or more school terms of service within a period of seven school terms of service. When determining action based on incompetency, the superintendent must consider factors that include the following: the time between the unsatisfactory ratings, the quality of the remediation plans and whether one of the unsatisfactory ratings occurred during the first year of a teaching assignment.
Illinois Administrative Code Title 23, 25.11 and 25.905 http://www.isbe.state.il.us/certification/html/experienced_teacher.htm S.B. 7
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
Although Illinois' new revocation policy is a step in the right direction, the state should also incorporate performance reviews into its license renewal policy.
Discontinue license requirements with no direct connection to classroom effectiveness.
While targeted requirements may potentially expand teacher knowledge and improve teacher practice, Illinois' 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.
End license advancement tied to master's degrees.
While an option (not a requirement) for advancement, Illinois should not emphasize obtaining a master's degree as a means of license advancement for teachers. 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.
Illinois recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. However, the analysis was updated subsequent to the state's review. Illinois added that with the passage of S.B. 1799, it will now bring in stakeholders to consider legislative changes to license renewal.