The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is preparing to release district and school data on whether educators are teaching "in-field." Collecting and reporting this data is a requirement of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, and we hope the data will be useful to you as you make decisions about teacher assignments and future hires.
In order to link teacher course assignments to individual teacher licenses, we developed a Massachusetts Educator License Mapping Tool that, for the first time, links educator licenses to courses. We developed this with significant input from the field, a year of piloting and revision, as well as external research to check underlying assumptions about the role of a license and teacher efficacy with students.
In anticipation of releasing the in-field data publicly later this month, we will make your district's data available to you through a Dropbox in the Security Portal starting January 16th.
When the data is made public later this month as part of School and District Report Cards and in the Teacher Data section of our School and District Profiles, it will include the following categories, which we calculated as described below:
If you have questions or concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a result of the new in-field and out-of-field designations, we have clarified and updated previous guidance regarding teaching assignments for teachers who hold a generalist license for Early Childhood, Elementary or Middle School. These generalist licenses were not designed to have a teaching assignment that covers a single subject area where there is a more appropriate license, such as General Science 1-6, Math 5-8, etc. In place of previous guidance, districts and school leaders should consider the following when determining the most appropriate teacher license for a particular course assignment:
If there are specific questions related to this updated guidance, please contact the Licensure Office via the Commissioner's Licensure Hotline, 781-338-3065.
As mentioned above, the in-field data will be publicly reported later this month on School and District Report Cards. This spring, the in-field data will also be incorporated into the Student Learning Experience Report in Edwin. Once the in-field data is included, the report will show any equity gaps that exist for economically disadvantaged students, English learners, students with disabilities, and students of color in terms of patterns of assignment to effective, experienced, and in-field educators. This data must be used to inform district improvement plans.
In creating the Massachusetts Educator License Mapping Tool, we carefully consulted the subject-matter knowledge requirements associated with each license and engaged with stakeholders in the field to inform early first drafts. Through the 2018-2019 pilot year, we identified several linkages that raised questions and identified gaps affecting the number of educators who appeared to be out of field but were not. As a result, the most current version of the mapping tool reflects several important changes, including:
The Department will continue to collect input on the mapping tool to ensure that it continues to reflect the evolving nature of courses and licensure. If you have additional feedback on the tool, please email: email@example.com.
Please note that while the mapping tool can serve as guidance to districts in considering hiring and assignment of individual educators, it does not prohibit a district from assigning an out-of-field educator to a course.
The Student Learning Experience report in Edwin provides insight into inequitable patterns of assignment and access to excellent educators within your district. This data informs your school/district strategic planning and is monitored through the federal grants and district review processes. Student experiences with "out-of-field" teachers is one category that will be included in this report in the spring; this data is derived directly from the mapping tool mentioned above.
Because this report centers on student experiences with educators, any assignment to an educator not appropriately licensed for that course, as detailed in the mapping tool, is considered an out-of-field experience. This is true even if the educator is generally counted as "in-field" for purposes of public reporting as allowed under the 20 percent rule. If there are specific questions about this, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a companion to the Student Learning Experience Summary (SE321) and Detailed (SE322) reports and in response to feedback from the field, DESE has created an additional report that allows districts to see out-of-field assignments by individual teacher (SE821). It is important to note that this report should be used carefully in relation to the updated licensure and employability guidance.
The Department encourages the continued use of insights from the Student Learning Experience report when making student assignment decisions.
1 The 20 percent rule: 603 CMR 7.15 (9) (a) states that "A person holding a license may be employed for a maximum of 20% of his/her time in a role and/or at a level for which s/he does not hold a license". For assignments beyond this 20 percent, districts may choose to pursue a waiver with the Department. For purposes of the Student Learning Experience report, which counts student experiences, not overall teacher load, this 20 percent allowance is not factored in. As such, even though an educator may be licensed appropriately and allowed to teach that single course outside of their licensure area, the student experience will still count as being with an "out-of-field" educator.
2 Legacy licenses are licenses that had been in the Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval Regulations, 603 CMR 7.00, but are no longer licenses that can be newly earned, e.g. Political Science/Political Philosophy.
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370
Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.