2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
New York's requirements for licensure advancement and renewal are not based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
The state's Initial Certificate is issued in specific subject and grade titles, is valid for five years and leads to the Professional Certificate. It appears that each subject and grade level presents multiple requirements for the professional certification, including various mentoring and teaching experiences. The state also requires a master's degree for advancement.
New York does not include evidence of effectiveness as a factor in the renewal of a professional license. Teachers can continuously renew their license on a five-year cycle with the completion of professional development hours.
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
New York 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, New York'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.
New York 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.
New York recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that under its Race to the Top agenda, it will change the current certification system and develop one that links teacher effectiveness to advanced certification. To earn professional certification, teachers will be required to demonstrate teaching skills on a results-oriented assessment of teacher effectiveness, which will incorporate threshold student growth measures.
Further, the time for completing a master's degree will be extended to six years from initial certification to allow for the completion of an advanced degree more directly aligned to the teacher's individual goals for professional development. Teachers who cannot pass the performance assessment cannot earn the professional teaching certificate, which is required for continued employment in any public school after five years of teaching with an initial certificate. New York pointed out that it will ensure that teacher certification applicants who have not demonstrated a positive effect on improving student learning will not be able to receive professional certification.