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Advanced Teacher Certification: A 50-State Review

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Devin Bales, Julia Cramer - July 2020

The 2016 Legislature directed WSIPP to examine multiple policies related to advanced teacher certification that could impact the teacher workforce.

With various advanced teaching certificate policy changes in recent years, WSIPP was unable to analyze the effectiveness of specific policies toward expanding the educator workforce. However, in this report, we provide detailed background information on teachers with the professional certificates in Washington and conduct a 50-state review of certification-related policies that could impact teacher recruitment and retention in Washington and other states.

In 2019, nearly 25% of all classroom teachers in Washington held an advanced teacher certificate. However, since they became optional in 2017, the number of new certificates awarded has fallen by nearly 60%. A 50-state review identified 28 states with advanced teacher certificates. Washington is among the majority of these states in using National Board Certification as a requirement toward advanced certification and one of five using it as the primary path. Half of these states, including Washington, offer some sort of financial incentive for teachers to earn an advanced certificate.

Additionally, the review found that teachers in every state have earned micro-credentials, and 64% of states, including Washington, have micro-credential policies allowing them to be used toward some aspect of certification.

Report ID: 20-07-2201

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