Licensure Advancement : Minnesota

Identifying Effective Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.

Does not meet
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Licensure Advancement : Minnesota results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/MN-Licensure-Advancement--8

Analysis of Minnesota's policies

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.    

Citation

Recommendations for Minnesota

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.

State response to our analysis

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.

Research rationale

For a meta-analysis of the research on the relationship between advanced degrees and teacher effectiveness, see Metin and Stevenson, "The Impact of Teachers' Advanced Degrees on Student Learning" which has been published as an appendix in Arizona's Race to the Top: What Will It Take to Compete? (NCTQ, 2009). 

Studies in the analysis include: Clotfelter, C. T., Ladd, H. F., & Vigdor, J. L. (2004) Teacher sorting, teacher shopping, and the assessment of teacher effectiveness. Clotfelter, C. T., Ladd, H. F., & Vigdor, J. L. (2006) Teacher-student matching and the assessment of teacher effectiveness. Retrieved May 20, 2009 from the National Bureau of Economic Research web site: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11936; Clotfelter, C. T. Ladd, H. F., & Vigdor, J. L. (2007) How and why do teacher credentials matter for student achievement? Ehrenberg, R. G., & Brewer, D. J. (1994) Do school and teacher characteristics matter? Evidence from high school and beyond. Economics of Education Review, 13, 1-17; Goldhaber, D., & Anthony, E. (2007) Can teacher quality be effectively assessed? National board certification as a signal of effective teaching. Review of Economics and Statistics, 89(1), 134-150; Goldhaber, D. D., & Brewer, D. J. (1997) Why don't schools and teachers seem to matter? Assessing the impact of unobservables on educational productivity. The Journal of Human Resources, 3, 505-523; Goldhaber, D. & Brewer, D. J. (2000) Does teacher certification matter? High school teacher certification status and student achievement. Educational and Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 22(2), 129-145; Hanushek, E. A., Kain, J. F., O'Brien, D. M., & Rivkin, S. G. (2005) The market for teacher quality. Retrieved May 20, 2009 from the National Bureau of Economic Research web site: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11154.pdf; Hanushek, E. A., Kain, J. F., & Rivkin, S. G. (1998) Teachers, schools, and academic achievement. Retrieved May 20, 2009 from the National Bureau of Economic Research web site:http://www.nber.org/papers/w6691.pdf; Harris, D. N., & Sass, T. R. (2006) Value-added models and the measurement of teacher quality. Harris, D. N., & Sass, T. R. (2007a) What makes for a good teacher and who can tell? Harris, D. N., & Sass, T. R. (2007b) Teacher training, teacher quality, and student achievement. Retrieved May 20, 2009 from the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research web site: http://www.caldercenter.org/PDF/1001059_Teacher_Training.pdf; Harris, D. N., & Sass, T. R. (2008) The effects of NBPTS-certified teachers on student achievement. National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research; Jeptson, C. (2005) Teacher characteristics and student achievement: Evidence from teacher surveys. Journal of Urban Economics, 57,302-319; Monk, D. H. (1994) Subject area preparation of secondary mathematics and science teachers and student achievement. Economics of Educational Review, 13, 125-145; Riordan, J. (2006, April) Is there a relationship between No Child Left Behind indicators of teacher quality and the cognitive and social development of early elementary students? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association, San Francisco, CA; Schneider, B. L. (1985) Further evidence of school effects. Journal of Educational Research, 78, 351-356.

For evidence on the lack of correlation between education coursework and teacher effectiveness, see M.B. Allen, "Eight Questions on Teacher Preparation: What Does the Research Say?" Education Commission of the States, (2003) at: http://www.ecs.org/html/educationIssues/teachingquality/tpreport/home/summary.pdf.