2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Tennessee's requirements for licensure advancement and renewal are not based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
In Tennessee, teachers advance from an Apprentice Teacher license to a Professional license. The Professional license is a 10-year renewable teacher license issued to the holder of an Apprentice Teacher license or someone who has accrued a minimum of three years of acceptable experience in an approved Tennessee school and has received a positive local evaluation from an approved Tennessee school (a public or non-public school that has adopted the state evaluation model).
Tennessee does not include evidence of effectiveness as a factor in the renewal of a professional license. All educators holding a Professional license based on a bachelor's degree must earn 90 renewal points (based on professional development and graduate credits). All educators holding a Professional license based on a master's degree or higher who have not accrued five years of acceptable experience during the 10-year validity period of the license are required to earn 90 renewal points. No renewal points are required for educators holding a Professional license based on a master's degree or higher who have accrued five years of acceptable experience during the ten-year validity period of the license.
Licensure Advancements http://www.tennessee.gov/education/lic/adv.shtml http://www.tn.gov/education/lic/rprf.shtml
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
Tennessee 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. The state should use evidence of effectiveness from its strong teacher evaluations as a factor in determining whether teachers advance to the next licensure level (see goal 3-B). However, states must consider carefully how to use this evidence, as the standard for denying licensure—the right to practice in the state—should not necessarily be the same standard that might result in termination from a particular position.
Discontinue license requirements with no direct connection to classroom effectiveness.
While targeted requirements may potentially expand teacher knowledge and improve teacher practice, Tennessee'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 license advancement tied to master's degrees.
Tennessee should not encourage teachers to 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.
Tennessee recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.