NEPC Review: Harnessing Micro-Credentials for Teacher Growth (New America, January 2021)
New America recently published a report, Harnessing Micro-Credentials for Teacher Growth, that champions ways that micro-credentials have been used to allow teachers to move up the career ladder, receive higher pay, or renew their licenses. The report makes ambitious claims about the problems with traditional professional development and about how micro-credentials could address these shortfalls. However, the evidence to support these claims remains scarce. Since micro-credentials on their own cannot provide opportunities for teacher growth and require the existence of effective professional development systems to work, the report’s title and guidelines are misleading. Even if implemented, the report’s plan for expanding the use of micro-credentials could not deliver on its promises.