Gone: Professional Development Requirement

In a stack of papers called Legislation.

  • Nov
  • 20
  • 2006

In years past, renewing a teaching credential involved 150 hours of professional development every 5 years. This worked out to 30 hours every year. Broken down further, observing the 10-month school calendar, teachers should have been exposed to 3 hours of professional development each month. Considering that there’s always more to learn about how/what to teach, that never seemed like a lot of time to me. In fact, 150 hours seemed a bit low.

During the special election held only last year in my state, the Governor wanted to extend the probationary period of teachers from 2 to 5 years, indicating that he noticed problems with the quality of current tenured teachers. However, on September 28, 2006, that same Governor signed an education bill (SB 1209) that will remove the requirement that teachers put in 150 hours of professional development in order to renew a teaching credential.

Am I the only one who sees a conflict there? If teachers are such slackers that 2 years of probation is not long enough, how can they be such hard workers that the burden of completing 150 hours of professional development within 5 years can be lifted? Those 150 hours don’t have to be classes or lectures or conferences, though they certainly can be those things. They don’t even have to take place outside a teacher’s regular day since both whole-staff in-service days and department meetings count toward those hours. I’ll agree that the poorly enforced 150-hour requirement likely did little to improve teacher quality. To actually audit teachers in order to account for those hours would involve a level of bureaucracy that our Commission on Teacher Credentialing doesn’t have.

But at least it was something, a small requirement indicating the need for continuing education. Those 150 hours let teachers know that it is part of our professional responsibility to learn more in order to improve and stay updated on educational practices as much as possible.

And now that’s gone, removed by the same person who suggested that teachers have it easy just a few years ago, that we need to be tougher on teachers in order to raise the level of education in our state. Essentially, this means that all of us with a clear, professional, or professional clear teaching credential have a lifetime credential. The only thing that separates us from those who earned their credentials in the 70’s is that, every 5 years, we need to go through an application process, pay a small fee, and have the inconvenience of doing it all online. That’s right, part of the deal is that we are required to complete all of this online.

Let me get this straight: we can’t require our teachers to receive any on-going training to improve their craft, but we can require them to have internet access in order to renew their credential? Please tell me that you see the conflict, too.


1. Tom Molloy says:

[9/28/2007 - 5:24 am]

There is no conflict. Profesional Coourses for teachers are mostly intellectual garbge. They consist of half-baked psychology, dubious theories presenyed as fact. egalitarian nonsense, politically correct fallacies and trendy fada that quickly fade.

These courses are not of any benefit to a teacher’s classroom performance. The universities make a lot of money ,peddling this anti-intellectual junk. There is no evidence that education courses improve a teacher’s classroom performance I have seen many new college graduates, who have never taken an education course, excel in the classroom.

2. Todd says:

[9/28/2007 - 10:42 am]

Name calling won’t get you anywhere. Where do you go for your pedagogical updates? Give me some sources that aren’t “egalitarian nonsense, politically correct fallacies [or] trendy fada that quickly fade.”

Your implication in that last line is that it doesn’t take any training to be an effective teacher. I disagree. And are you really sure there’s “no evidence that education courses improve a teacher’s classroom performance”? That’s a tall claim. It could be true, but I’m not just going to take your word on it. If it’s anecdotal evidence you’re claiming, I can give you at least one teacher who does need education courses for every teacher you give me who doesn’t.

So instead of improving things, you say we just throw it out. That’s no way to raise the quality of instruction (or instructors). Further, I highly doubt that your rationale lead to SB1209. That might be good post rationalization, but it’s not what got us here.

3. Megan says:

[8/6/2009 - 6:26 pm]

Hi, Todd. I have been reading your blog tonight and finding a lot of interesting perspectives, many of which agree with my own frustrations and experiences during 20 years of teaching in California.

I know I am replying to a 2007 comment in 2009, but I hope that you will still get my comment and reply to it.

I see here that you believe the 150 hours of professional development per 5 years is no longer required for a credential renewal. I did hear news of this a couple of years ago, but the news *I* heard was that it was no longer required for teachers to submit their log of their 150 hours with a credential renewal application. I heard that the 150 hours were still REQUIRED, and the it was still required that teachers log their hours, but they would keep their log unless the CTCC asked to see it. Any request to see the log would mean that the teacher had only 24 hours before it had to be mailed in — meaning, I presume, that the log had better be prepared in advance and not generated when the request to see it came.

Granted, as an enforcement mechanism that’s pretty weak, but what I heard in no way indicated that the 150 hours would be elimated.

I find this of particular interest given that I am shortly due to renew my credential for another 5 years.

Can you shed any light on the discrepancy between your understanding of the new rules versus my understanding?



4. Todd says:

[8/6/2009 - 9:04 pm]

I’m on it, Megan. Here you go:

Beginning January 1, 2007, verification of professional growth requirements will no longer be a requirement for the renewal of professional clear credentials. This includes both the 150 clock hours of activities and the experience requirement….By January 1, 2007, the Commission’s online renewal process will be changed to remove the need to verify professional growth requirements for all types of credentials except the child development permits.

Here’s an updated link about that Senate Bill that will get you to a PDF about those professional development hours. I’ve renewed online and there was nothing about it there. Let me know if you find anything different, but all this seems to tell me that those hours are completely gone.

5. Megan says:

[8/7/2009 - 8:28 am]

Thanks for the links, Todd.

I’ve always thought that 150 hours in 5 years was requiring almost nothing at all — training that I attend out of sheer interest has always exceeded it. Still, I must confess to finding these revisions a relief. The log portion of it was a pain.

Thanks again,


6. Todd says:

[8/7/2009 - 11:09 am]

150 hours is crazy low, but at least it was something. And those conflicts are still there as far as extending years required to earn tenure and online renewal and such. It’s just a mess and it doesn’t seem to be improving.

7. Joan says:

[1/12/2012 - 10:04 pm]

Notice that it says VERIFICATION of professional growth requirements will no longer be a requirement . . .In other words, you do not have to send in any verification when you renew. However, you are supposed to still “complete a specific number of planned and approved professional growth activities.” When you renew, it tells you this. It also says that if they should chose to audit you, you will need to show the verification, or you are at risk of losing your credential. They can audit you at any time within a year of when you renew your credential, and you have to present your verification if this happens.