2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Montana's requirements for licensure advancement and renewal are not based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
The state offers two certifications that are valid for five years and renewable. The Class 2 Standard Teacher's license, which most closely resembles an initial certification, requires a bachelor's degree and completion of an educator preparation program. It is renewable with various combinations of semester credits and renewal units.
Teachers may advance to the Class 1 Professional Teacher's license if they have a master's degree and three years' teaching experience.
Montana does not include evidence of effectiveness as a factor in the renewal of a professional teaching license. Teachers must renew their licenses every five years through a combination of professional development and semester credits from accredited institutions of higher learning.
Administrative Rules of Montana 10.57.410; 10.57.411; http://www.opi.mt.gov/pdf/cert/RenewalRequirements.pdf
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
Montana 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, Montana'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.
Montana 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.
Montana declined to respond to NCTQ's analyses.