2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should base licensure advancement on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Virginia's requirements for licensure advancement and renewal are not based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
In Virginia, new teachers apply for the initial Collegiate Professional license, which is valid for five years and can be renewed. The requirement for renewal is completion of 180 professional development points based on an individualized professional development plan. Points can be accrued from one or more of the following options: college credit, professional conference, curriculum development, publication of an article, publication of a book, mentorship/supervision, educational project and employing educational agency professional development activity. A minimum of 90 points (three semester hours in a content area) in the license holder's endorsement area or areas is required of license holders without a master's degree and may be satisfied at the undergraduate (two-year or four-year institution) or graduate level.
The state also offers the option of a Postgraduate Professional license for teachers holding a graduate (master's or doctorate) degree.
Virginia does not include evidence of effectiveness as a factor in the renewal of a professional license. Virginia teachers must renew their licenses every five years by obtaining 180 professional development points in the validity period. For applicants without a master's degree, 90 of these points must be graduate credits from an accredited master's program.
Require evidence of effectiveness as a part of teacher licensing policy.
Virginia 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 renewal requirements with no direct connection to classroom effectiveness.
While targeted requirements may potentially expand teacher knowledge and improve teacher practice, Virginia's menu of general, nonspecific professional development requirements for license 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 advanced degrees to licensure advancement.
Virginia should remove its mandate that teachers obtain a master's or doctorate degree for any level of 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.
Virginia asserted that it does not require teachers to fulfill generic, unspecified coursework requirements to advance from one license to another. The state also reiterated that it does not require teachers to have an advanced degree as a condition of professional licensure.