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Current Teacher Certification Process in Massachusetts

Page history last edited by Judina chua 14 years, 8 months ago

 

Current Certification Process in Massachusetts

 

There are two types of teacher preparation programs in Massachusetts; they include the traditional and alternative teacher programs (Loeb & Reininger, 2004).  Candidates who complete one of these approved teacher programs, have a bachelors degree in the subject that they will teach, and pass the MTEL, would obtain a five-year Initial License that is renewable once for another 5 years. The Professional License requirements includes three years of employment under the Initial License, Mentor and Induction Program during the first year of employment, and fifty additional hours of mentoring beyond the Induction Year and at least fifty contact hours of content-based seminars. The Professional License is valid for five years and the license renewal is every five years (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education).

 

In the past 150 to 200 years, Massachusetts has incorporated a number of quality control measures, starting first from oral examinations or interview to locally run written exams, teacher preparation programs and credits from approved courses, and then back to written exams, to ensure that only competent teachers are certified.  Concerns on teacher quality are more pertinent today in the light of NCLB and the Race to the Top funds. 138 out of a maximum of 500 points in the Race to the Top application are allocated to the recruitment of quality teachers, to evaluate their effectiveness, and to use the evaluations in tenure and other key decisions (Dillon, 2009).

 

In the past 150 to 200 years, Massachusetts has incorporated a number of quality control measures, starting first from oral examinations or interview to locally run written exams, teacher preparation programs and credits from approved courses, and then back to written exams, to ensure that only competent teachers are certified.  Concerns on teacher quality are more pertinent today in the light of NCLB and the Race to the Top funds. 138 out of a maximum of 500 points in the Race to the Top application are allocated to the recruitment of quality teachers, to evaluate their effectiveness, and to use the evaluations in tenure and other key decisions (Dillon, 2009). 

 

Shortcomings in the Current Certification Process 

Employing academically qualified teachers does not ensure that they will be able to teach well in the classroom (Gordon, Kane & Staiger, 2006). Traditional teacher preparation programs have poorly prepared teachers for teaching (Sanchez, 2009). The programs consist of unrelated courses and field experiences that do not necessarily enable teachers to develop a coherent picture of good teaching (Feiman-Nemser, 2001). For example, teachers’ certification status made little difference in the math results of grade 4 to 8 students (Kane, Rockoff and Staiger, 2007).  Furthermore, in Sections Two and Three, the MTEL results demonstrated that many teacher candidates did not meet minimum standards in either one of its three tests: communications and literacy skills, subject knowledge, and professional knowledge, to qualify for certification.  This shows how the wide variance in the rigor and effectiveness found in the current teacher preparation programs (Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 1999; Newman, 2009).

 

 

 <<Return to Section 4>>

 

<<Go to Policy Recommendations>>

 

<<Go to Review of Other Possible Policy Options>> 

 

<<Go to Conclusion>> 

 

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