2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Michigan's requirements for licensure advancement and renewal are not based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
To advance from a Provisional Certificate (valid for up to six years) to a Professional Education Certificate, teachers are required to complete 18 semester hours in a planned course of study after the issuance of the Provisional Certificate or completion of a master's degree or National Board certification, complete Michigan's reading requirement (six semester hours of teaching reading for elementary teachers or three semester hours for secondary teachers) and have three years of successful teaching experience. Michigan 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 or 18 State-Board certification education units, or a combination of the two.
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
Michigan 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 requirements with no direct connection to classroom effectiveness.
While targeted requirements—such as the state's requirement for training in teaching reading— may potentially expand teacher knowledge and improve teacher practice, Michigan's 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 policies that tie teacher advancement to master's degrees.
Michigan should modify any policies that encourage or require teachers to 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.
Michigan recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that by the fall of 2012, pending state administrative rule approval, there will be a three-tiered teacher certification and licensure system that will make available a provisional, professional and advanced professional license. This is a comprehensive system where teacher and leader certifications and advancements will be informed by evaluation results.