Licensure Advancement : New York

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 : New York results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/NY-Licensure-Advancement--8

Analysis of New York's policies

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.

Citation

Recommendations for New York

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. 

State response to our analysis

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.

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.