Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Mississippi's requirements for licensure advancement and renewal are not based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
The state offers four certifications that are all valid for five years and are all renewable. The Class A license, which appears most closely to resemble an initial certification, requires a bachelor's degree and passage of applicable Praxis II tests. Teachers may renew the Class A license by completing one of the following: 10 continuing education units in content or skill-related area, three semester hours in content or skill-related area and five continuing education units in content or skill-related area, six semester hours in content or skill-related area or completion of the NBPTS process. Teachers may advance to the Class AA license by meeting the Class A requirements and earning a master's degree. A Class AAA license requires Class A criteria and a specialist degree, and a Class AAAA license requires Class A criteria and a doctoral degree.
Mississippi does not include evidence of effectiveness as a factor in the renewal of a professional license. Mississippi teachers must renew their licenses every five years. Teachers with a Class A license (bachelor's degree level) must complete 10 continuing education units (CEU's), three semester hours and five CEU's, or six semester hours. Those with Class AA licenses and above must complete three semester hours or five CEU's.
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
Mississippi 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 may potentially expand teacher knowledge and improve teacher practice, Mississippi'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 requirement tying teacher advancement to master's degrees.
Mississippi should remove its mandate 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.
Mississippi recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.