Highly Qualified Teachers in Indiana
Research shows that an effective teacher is the single most important school-level factor impacting student achievement. A strong relationship exists between teacher characteristics, including degree levels, experience and subject and content knowledge.
There are already alternative pathways in place – alternate routes to teaching that are backed by research and have a good track record for meeting high professional standards and meeting teacher effectiveness. The adjunct permit/career specialist license removes the pedagogy component and dilutes the profession.
In 2003, Indiana received a B- for improving teacher quality in the Education Week Quality Counts report. Indiana was 6th in the U.S. (only South Carolina received a B+).
- Indiana was one of only 12 states to report that 95 percent of its classes are taught by “high-quality teachers” as defined by the state.
- The National Center for Education Statistics found that only 31.8 percent of Indiana public school teachers had just a bachelor’s degree compared to 52 percent nationally.
- More than 63 percent of teachers held master’s degrees compared to 41.9 percent nationally.
- Over 41 percent of teachers had over 20 years of experience compared to 29.8 percent nationally.
- Only 11 percent of Indiana public school teachers had fewer than 3 years of experience.
- 98 percent of teachers graduated from teacher education programs accredited by the National Council for Accreditation and Teacher Education. None of the programs were rated low-performing.
- The Indiana Professional Standards Board required that anyone receiving a standard license must also pass a rigorous state subject test.
- Less than 1 percent of Indiana teachers were not fully certified.
- Indiana ranked in the top fifth of all states in having low percentages of out-of-field teachers.
Indiana already has the Transition to Teaching program – an alternative pathway that requires 18 hours of education courses for the secondary level and 24 hours for elementary.
Since the “reforms” have quickly spread across the state, Ed Week’s Quality Counts ratings for Indiana have fallen in the teaching profession category. State policies have been a cause for the decline, and the adjunct permit under REPA 3 proposed licensure rules will further decrease standards rather than elevating the teaching profession.
Molly Chaberlin, Jonathan Plucker and Ann Kearns. Indiana Education Policy Center, Indiana University. “Highly Qualified Teachers in Indiana,” Education Policy Briefs Vol. 1, No. 4 (2003).