Tiered Licensure: One Stop Shop for What You Need to Know

Slide1Idaho has proposed a Tiered Licensure rule that potentially ties a teacher’s license to student test scores and local evaluations. To bribe teachers to accept this bad idea, an ‘increased’ teacher salary would also be tied to these evaluations. Tiered licensure is bad for kids, taxpayers, and teachers.


Below is a quick synopsis of reasons why this is poor legislation, along with resources to better educate yourself and distribute to others.

successtrueIt is important that both the State Board of Education and your legislators hear from everyone.  That most definitely includes students themselves!  I invite all stakeholders to share their input in person at the upcoming Board of Education public hearing meetings (below), through writing the SBoE at

You can also send concerns to your Idaho legislative representatives, and showing solidarity with those opposed by attending relevant meetings to show unity in opposition.

Note: The southwest Idaho location has changed from the CWI campus in Nampa to Mountain View High School in Meridian due to increased expectations of attendance.

Please note, all meetings will be held at 7PM.

Tuesday, Oct. 7 Pocatello ISU Student Union-Salmon River Room

Tuesday, Oct. 14 Lewiston LCSC, Meriwether Lewis Hall Room 100

Tuesday, Oct. 21 Mountain View High School, Meridian, Auditorium


  • More pressure to perform on high stakes tests because teacher salaries are tied to student test scores
    • More test prep
    • Less differentiated instruction
    • More time testing
    • More test anxiety
  • Fewer electives (and recess) in favor of more drill on tested topics
  • Lower performing students will have less access to highly qualified teachers
  • High poverty schools will have less access to highly qualified teachers
  • Kids’ needs lose priority over pleasing administrators
  • Less chance that a teacher will have an advanced degree (masters or doctorate)
    • Tiered licensure does not reward teachers who go beyond minimum academic preparation
  • Students taking concurrent credit or AP classes will be short-changed
    • Fewer students in concurrent credit and AP classes
    • Teachers will discourage borderline students from enrolling because their salaries depend on student scores
  • Academic freedom and innovation will suffer as teachers feel pressure to please administrators instead of being advocates for their students
    • Teachers less likely to speak up on issues like class size and safety when evaluation affects licensure
    • Teachers less likely to try different methods to help students when following prescribed methods is part of evaluation
  • Teachers less likely to want to teach challenging and high needs students


  • $250 million initial price tag
    • Reason to believe costs will increase over time; the figure above is for the initial year.
    • Process challenged because the developer of the evaluation claims misuse of her framework
    • States with tiered licensure are fighting lawsuits brought by teachers who unfairly lost their license.  This adds to wasted financial and time resources better used for students.
    • More administrators needed in each school to be able to perform added evaluations
    • More district personnel needed to compile and keep data for each certified employee
    • States with test scores tied to evaluations are back tracking and reconsidering
    • More red tape and bureaucracy
    • Less local control
    • No evidence that tiered licensure improves student achievement
    • Serious problems with inter-rater reliability and concerns raised by scholars and researchers



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