Tiered Licensure Technical Advisory Committee

Christina Linder, Director of Teacher Certification and Professional Standards

"The stakes are high. Every day, we wager the future of this country on our teachers. We are daily entrusting the dreams of our young people to those who teach them. Whether those dreams are delayed, denied, or fulfilled is ours to decide."

This quote, from No Dream Denied, a report from the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, is one of my favorites. It emphasizes the importance of highly effective teaching in our classrooms.

For many years, parents and teachers have recognized the importance of highly effective teaching, but now it is recognized on a much larger scale.

The Task Force for Improving Education recognized its importance when they issued their final recommendations for reforming education in the state of Idaho. One of their recommendations was adoption of a tiered licensing structure.

We recommend a continuum of professional growth and learning that is tied to licensure. Movement through the system would be accomplished in a very specific, objective way using performance measures.

A tiered licensing model allows teachers to earn professional status based upon tiers of responsibility and performance. These tiers are tied to higher rates of compensation for existing teachers and promises higher starting salaries for new Idaho teachers.

Tiered licensure is separate from, but works in concert with, another recommendation of the Task Force—a career ladder compensation model. The career ladder model the Task Force recommended will allow teachers to earn salary increase based on professional practice rungs of $40,000, $50,000, and $60,000. How a teacher moves through the rungs of this ladder will be governed by tiered licensure.

The Task Force for Improving Education recommended "the State Department of Education work with stakeholders to clearly determine expectations and authentic measures to earn each tier of the licensure mode." Following that directive, we formed the Tiered Licensure Technical Advisory Committee.

The technical advisory committee membership is a diverse group of education practitioners and stakeholders, including teachers, a principal, a superintendent, a trustee, a human resources director, the Idaho Association of College of Teacher Education, the Idaho Education Association, and the Idaho Business for Education.

The group met for the first time this week to discuss the scope and sequence of their work and establish a baseline understanding of tiered licensure. The group is expected to meet monthly through March, after which they will present teacher and administrator licensure frameworks for public comment and adoption through the administrative rulemaking process.

You can follow the progress of the technical advisory committee on our website. The meetings are open to the public and streamed live online. We welcome your feedback and input as we work to raise the level of professional growth and learning amongst Idaho educators. Comments can be sent to tieredlicensure@sde.idaho.gov.