2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Nebraska's requirements for licensure advancement and renewal are not based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
In Nebraska, to advance from an Initial Teaching Certificate to the Standard Teaching Certificate, teachers are required to, within five years prior to application, have taught half-time or more for two consecutive years in the same state school system.
The state also offers a Professional Teaching Certificate, which requires an advanced degree.
Nebraska does not include evidence of effectiveness as a factor in the renewal of a standard or professional teaching license. Teachers must renew their standard or professional licenses every five years by verifying they have taught for at least one year in the last five, or by completing six semester hours in the past five years from an approved teacher education institution.
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
Nebraska 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, Nebraska'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.
Nebraska 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.
Nebraska recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.