Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness. This goal was consistent between 2015 and 2017.
Evidence of Effectiveness: New York's requirements for licensure advancement and renewal are not based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Advancing to a Professional License: New York's Initial Certificate 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.
Renewing a Professional License: New York requires teachers to complete professional development hours within each five-year cycle to maintain certification.
Certification Requirements http://eservices.nysed.gov/teach/certhelp/CertRequirementHelp.do Renewal Requirements http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/resteachers/175.html
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 may renew or advance to a higher-level license.
Discontinue license requirements with no direct connection to classroom effectiveness.
Although 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 clear that master's degrees generally do not have any significant correlation with classroom performance. Rather, advancement should be based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
New York asserted that teachers who hold the professional certificate are required to successfully complete 100 clock hours of acceptable Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) requirements during each five-year registration period. Acceptable CTLE must be taken from a Department-approved sponsor and is more specific than the phrase "professional development" in the above analysis. Acceptable CTLE must be conducted through activities designed to improve the teacher's or leader's pedagogical and/or leadership skills and targeted at improving student performance, including but not limited to formal CTLE activities. Such activities must promote the professionalization of teaching and must be closely aligned with district goals for student performance.
Acceptable CTLE must also include study in the content area of any certificate title held by the individual, or in pedagogy, and include any required study in language acquisition addressing the needs of English language learners as described in section 80-6.3 of Commissioner's Regulations. Holders of Professional English to Speakers of Other Languages certificates or Bilingual Extension Annotations are required to complete a minimum of 50 percent of the required CTLE clock hours in language acquisition aligned with the core content area of instruction taught, including a focus on best practices for co-teaching strategies and integrating language and content instruction for English language learners. All other professional certificate holders must complete a minimum of 15 percent of the required CTLE clock hours in language acquisition addressing the needs of English language learners, including a focus on best practices for co-teaching strategies and integrating language and content instruction for English language learners. Classroom teachers who are employed by a school district or BOCES with an approved exemption are exempt from the language acquisition CTLE requirements.
9A: Licensure Advancement
The reason for probationary licensure should be to determine teacher effectiveness. Most states grant new teachers a probationary license that must later be converted to an advanced or professional license. A probationary period is sound policy as it provides an opportunity to determine whether individuals merit professional licensure. However, very few states require any determination of teacher performance or effectiveness in deciding whether a teacher will advance from the probationary license. Instead, states generally require probationary teachers to fulfill a set of requirements to receive advanced certification. Therefore, ending the probationary period is based on whether a checklist has been completed rather than on teacher performance and effectiveness.
Most state requirements for achieving professional certification have not been shown to affect teacher effectiveness. Unfortunately, not only do most states fail to connect advanced certification to actual evidence of teacher effectiveness, but also the requirements teachers must most often meet are not even related to teacher effectiveness. The most common requirement for professional licensure is completion of additional coursework, often resulting in a master's degree. Requiring teachers to obtain additional training in their teaching area would be meaningful; however, the requirements are usually vague, allowing the teacher to fulfill coursework requirements from long menus that include areas having no connection or use to the teacher in the classroom. The research evidence on requiring a master's degree is quite conclusive: with rare exceptions, these degrees have not been shown to make teachers more effective. This is likely due in no small part to the fact that teachers may not attain master's degrees in their subject areas.
In addition to their dubious value, these requirements may also serve as a disincentive to teacher retention. Talented probationary teachers may be unwilling to invest time and resources in more education coursework. Further, they may well pursue advanced degrees that facilitate leaving teaching.