The state should ensure that substitute teachers are appropriately placed and assessed in the classroom. This goal was new in 2017 and was not graded.
Substitute License(s): New York does not offer substitute certificates but has requirements for substitute teachers. There are three categories of substitutes: 1)
persons holding valid certificate, 2) persons without certification but
preparing to be certified, and 3) persons without certification and not preparing
to become certified.
Length of Assignment: In New York, persons holding a valid teaching certificate or those without certification but preparing to be certified can teach for any length of time. Persons without certification and not completing a preparation program can teach for a maximum of 40 days per year.The state does not specify how many consecutive days a substitute can teach in the same classroom assignment.
Evaluation of Substitute Teachers: New York requires certified teachers who are acting as substitutes to be evaluated under the state's Annual Professional Performance Review if the substitute is "a teacher in the classroom teaching service and are serving as the teacher of record."
New York State Dept of Ed Substitute Teacher http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/resteachers/employmentissues.html#substitute Guidance on NY Education Law §3012-d: https://www.engageny.org/resource/guidance-on-new-york-s-annual-professional-performance-review-law-and-regulations
Require substitute teachers to have a substitute license.
New York should require all substitute teachers to obtain a substitute teaching license. Licenses issued by the state allow for uniform minimum requirements so that all districts have access to a similarly qualified substitute teaching pool.
Distinguish requirements for short-term and long-term substitutes.
New York should distinguish between requirements for short-term and long-term substitutes so that it can ensure that its requirements are appropriate for the needs of these teachers. The state's long-term substitute requirements should be rigorous (e.g., that all long-term substitutes have current or expired licenses) to help ensure that teachers who are spending extended periods of time with students are prepared to do so.
Limit the number of consecutive days a short-term substitute can teach in the same classroom.
New York should limit the number of consecutive days a short-term substitute can teach in the same classroom without completing additional requirements or obtaining a long-term substitute license. The maximum number of days should be no more than 10 percent of the length of the school year. New York's lack of policy regarding the number of consecutive days a substitute may teach in the same classroom may be detrimental to instructional quality and daily productivity.
Require long-term substitute teachers to be evaluated.
New York should maintain standards for substitute teacher quality and accountability for all substitutes, but especially for long-term substitutes who are expected to stand in for licensed teachers for extended periods of time. New York can help ensure that substitute teachers are held to high standards and have access to the supports necessary to improve their practice by requiring evaluations— which it may find appropriate to modify from its standard, state-required teacher evaluations— of long-term substitutes.
New York was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts necessary for this analysis.
Research finds that teacher absences negatively affect student achievement and growth. While some of this is attributable to the disruption of regular classroom practices and instruction, it may also be attributable to substitute teacher quality. The gap in instructional quality and daily productivity when a regular teacher is replaced by a substitute teacher is significant. However, absences covered by substitutes licensed by the state are not as detrimental to student achievement as those covered by non-licensed substitutes. Some research hypothesizes that the low-skill level and mobility of substitute teachers may contribute to the reduction in instructional focus and quality and that even when substitute teachers are good instructors, they may be unable to effectively implement a teacher of record's long-term instructional strategies. Parents, teachers, principals, and students have concerns about substitute teachers' quality and qualifications. States should maintain rigorous standards for substitute teacher quality and accountability for all substitutes, but especially for long-term substitutes who are expected to stand in for teachers for long stretches of time.