Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Massachusetts's requirements for licensure advancement and renewal are not based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
In Massachusetts, to advance from an Initial certification to a Professional certification, teachers are required to complete a one-year induction program with a mentor, have three years' teaching experience and fulfill 50 hours of a mentored experience beyond the induction year. They are also required to complete one of the following: an approved district-based program for the Professional license; a master's degree; programs leading to eligibility for master teacher status, such as those sponsored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; or a department-sponsored assessment program, if available.
Massachusetts does not include effectiveness as a factor in the renewal of a professional license. Massachusetts teachers must renew their professional licenses every five years by earning 150 professional development points through a combination of graduate credit and approved professional development.
603 CMR 7.04(2)(c) http://www.doe.mass.edu/recert/
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
Massachusetts 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, Massachusetts'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 license advancement tied to master's degrees.
While an option (not a requirement) for advancement, Massachusetts 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.
Massachusetts recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that it plans to comprehensively overhaul its licensure requirements beginning in 2012-2013 to ensure a tiered performance-based licensure system that incorporates appropriate measures of effectiveness.