The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Kentucky's requirements for licensure advancement and renewal are not based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
To advance from the Initial Provisional Teaching Certificate to the Professional Teaching Certificate, the state requires teachers to successfully complete the beginning teacher internship, a one-year program that provides new teachers with additional supervision and assistance and culminates with a Teacher Performance Assessment that measures mastery of Kentucky Teacher Standards.
To qualify for the Initial Certificate, most teachers must earn a bachelor's degree; however, the state defines a few exceptions that require a master's degree, which include those teaching reading and writing in grades primary through 12 and exceptional children with communication disorders.
Kentucky does not include evidence of effectiveness as a factor in the renewal of a professional license. Kentucky teachers must renew their licenses every five years. For their first five-year renewal, teachers must complete 15 graduate hours, or half of the Continuing Education Option (CEO), and an individualized professional development program designed to replace fifth-year program college courses of study. For their second five-year renewal, teachers must complete a master's degree or the CEO. Each subsequent five-year renewal requires three years of classroom teaching during the previous five-year period, or an additional six hours of graduate credit.
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
Kentucky 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. While Kentucky's performance assessment may be a step in the right direction, there is no indication that objective evidence of student learning is considered as part of this assessment.
Discontinue license renewal requirements with no direct connection to classroom effectiveness.
While targeted requirements may potentially expand teacher knowledge and improve teacher practice, Kentucky's general, nonspecific continuing education 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.
While not applicable to licensing across the board in Kentucky, the state should remove any mandates 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.
Kentucky recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that advancement from an Initial Probationary Teacher Certificate to a Provisional Teacher Certificate requires a positive recommendation from the intern committee based on three observations and other measures. However, the decision is based on evidence of knowledge and skills and does not include measures of effectiveness such as student outcomes.