Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
In Indiana, to advance from a two-year Initial license to a Professional license, teachers are required to complete a Beginning Teacher Residency program in which building level administrators assess a new teacher's effectiveness and develop plans for professional growth. After achieving Professional license status, teachers may apply for an Accomplished Practitioner license, which requires another set of criteria, including earning a master's degree.
Indiana 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, or by completing a Professional Growth Plan, including up to 90 hours of professional development.
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
Indiana 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. Although teacher performance is assessed before a professional license is awarded, there is no indication that objective evidence of student learning is considered as part of this assessment.
Discontinue license requirements with no direct connection to classroom effectiveness.
While targeted requirements may potentially expand teacher knowledge and improve teacher practice, Indiana's general, nonspecific coursework and growth plan 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 requirement tying teacher advancement to master's degrees.
Indiana should remove its mandate that teachers obtain a master's degree for an Accomplished Practitioner license. 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.
Indiana recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that it plans to propose new regulations in 2011 that will require evidence of teacher effectiveness for recertification.