December 19, 2007
By Bess Keller
Tiered Licensing Systems Being Used by States to Help Teacher Quality
Michigan school leaders announced this fall that they were aiming for a wholesale redesign of a system that mostly gets minor adjustments from states: teacher licensing.
Schools chief Michael P. Flanagan has proposed going to a system with three, rather than the current two, tiers of licensing. Moreover, teachers would progress from level to level only by a performance assessment, not the more standard additional courses and workshops. The proposal is part of a sweeping attempt to jack up teacher quality in the Great Lakes State.
“We think we have to raise the bar on what teachers are expected to do and turn teaching into the profession it is,” said Sally Vaughn, the Michigan education department’s chief academic officer.
Michigan is not alone in its interest in three-level licensure. In the past few years, Delaware, New Mexico, and Wisconsin have made such a switch, though each with somewhat different aims...