Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Minnesota's requirements for licensure advancement and renewal are not based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Minnesota's initial license issued to teachers in the state is the First Professional license. The Professional license is then renewed by successfully completing at least 125 clock hours of professional development, which now must be in the following areas: positive behavioral intervention strategies; accommodations and modifications to meet student needs; warning signs for mental illness in children; technology and in-service preparation in scientifically based reading instruction.
Minnesota does not include evidence of effectiveness as a factor in the renewal of a professional license. Beginning July 1, 2012, all individuals who were employed as teachers during any part of the five-year period immediately preceding the license renewal must include evidence of work that demonstrates professional reflection and growth in best teaching practices. The applicant must include a reflective statement of professional accomplishment and the applicant's own assessment of professional growth in their license renewal materials.
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
Minnesota 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. Minnesota's requirement for renewal requirement for professional reflection on evidence of effectiveness does not constitute an objective measure of teacher effectiveness.
Discontinue license requirements with no direct connection to classroom effectiveness.
While Minnesota's targeted coursework requirements in accommodations and scientifically based reading instruction may potentially expand teacher knowledge and improve teacher practice, Minnesota's other 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.
Minnesota asserted that it has recently passed new legislation that has ordered a "Tiered Licensure Advisory Task Force." This task force is charged with developing recommendations premised on the following: research-based professional competencies; teacher professional growth to enable teachers to develop multiple professional competencies; an assessment system for evaluating performance aligned with student expectations and value-added measures of student outcomes; the expectation that teachers progress through various stages of teaching practice and receive opportunities for leadership roles commensurate with practice and competency; and periodic evaluation of the licensing structure to determine effectiveness in meeting students' needs.