Committee discusses teacher licenses, pay

Members of a new education committee on Monday took their first look at a proposal to create a tiered licensure system for Idaho teachers.

Licensure committee
Roger Quarles and Paula Kellerer, dean of Northwest Nazarene University’s College of Education, participate in Monday’s licensure committee meeting at the Statehouse.

Led by Idaho Chief Deputy Superintendent Roger Quarles, members of the Tiered Licensure Technical Advisory Committee devoted most of the more than three-hour meeting to background information on licenses and recommendations from Gov. Butch Otter’s Task Force for Improving Education.

The task force called for a tiered licensure system in Idaho and also recommended drastically changing teacher pay by creating a career ladder system that would be tied to licensure.

“You’re here to make sure the Task Force recommendations actually become a reality,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna told committee members. “This is where the rubber meets the road.”

The committee reviewed one licensure model – purely as an example – that called for three tiers of licensure. That system included:

  • An initial tier where teachers would need to meet basic requirements or better on the Idaho Pedagogical Performance Assessment before they could begin working in a classroom. If the teacher did not advance to another tier after three years, there could be a one-year grace period added or a remediation requirement.
  • A second “professional” teacher tier that educators could advance to after student growth was achieved, teachers met their individual goals and scored proficient on all categories of the pedagogical assessment. That tier would carry a five-year renewable license.
  • A third “master” teacher tier that educators could earn with an administrator’s recommendation and mastery scores on several pedagogical assessment categories. The mastery license would be a two-year renewable license.

The Task Force’s recommendation on the career ladder idea called for phasing in the plan over six years and creating a $40,000/ $50,000 / $60,000 salary schedule based on the three licensure tiers.

Christina Linder, the State Department of Education’s Director of Teacher Certification and Professional Standards, told committee members that an effective licensure system could provide incentives to teachers and help improve retention.

“The fact is we are losing many of our best teachers to administrative positions where they may not be serving students and other teachers best,” Linder said.

Members of the licensure committee said their goal is to define how the licensure system would work and be implemented. They plan to meet through March and be able to provide recommendations to the State Board of Education in the form of a temporary rule.

Under that timeline, any temporary rule approved by the State Board would go out for public comment and go to the Idaho Legislature for additional consideration – likely during the 2015 session.

“We minimally should be able to answer the question: ‘Why would we consider this or why would we move in this direction?’” Quarles said after the meeting. “We are going to do our best to take collective input from our education stakeholders in informing the recommendations we try to make through this group. That’s a priority for us. “

Committee members are schedule to meet again on Nov. 25 at the Statehouse. During that meeting, they are expected to hear from officials in other states who have implemented a licensure system.

Members of the committee include:

  • Andy Grover, superintendent, Melba School District.
  • Barb Leeds, human resources director, Meridian Joint School District No. 2.
  • Becky Meyer, principal, Lake Pend Oreille School District.
  • Lisa Burtenshaw, trustee, Idaho Falls School District.
  • Mikki Nuckols, teacher, Bonneville School District, board member of Northwest Professional Educators.
  • Shawn Tiegs, teacher, Nezperce School District.
  • Paula Kellerer, dean of Northwest Nazarene University’s College of Education.
  • Penni Cyr, president, Idaho Education Association.
  • Rod Gramer, president, Idaho Business for Education.
  • Roger Brown, Office of Gov. Butch Otter.
  • Tracie Bent, Office of the State Board of Education.
  • Roger Quarles, chief deputy, Idaho State Department of Education.
  • A parent representative to be determined.



Clark Corbin

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