Today, the Education Commission of the States (ECS), a national organization of state education policy leaders, released a report that reviews state policies related to teacher license reciprocity. While states are facing educator pipeline challenges, the report finds that teacher licensure systems are intended to ensure educator quality, but have the potential of limiting cross-state mobility that could cause harm teacher attrition and retention.
The report explores teacher license reciprocity – in which a candidate who possesses an out-of-state license can earn a license in a new state based on state requirements. At the national level, the report references the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement, which collects agreements between NASDTEC member states to understand which licenses are transferable and what additional requirements might be needed. At the state level, the report finds that since last year, 11 states have enacted new laws or regulations that facilitate teacher license reciprocity. Two states – Arizona and Nevada – became full reciprocity states by enacting new laws that remove barriers for licensure. Two additional states – Oklahoma and Delaware – passed new laws that waive certain assessment requirements for out-of-state candidates.
The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification held its annual Ted Andrews Winter Symposium January 4-6 in San Diego, California, convening educators from varied settings around the topic “Teacher Recruitment and Retention: Innovation Through Collaboration.”
The theme of partnership-driven innovation was reinforced through a number of sessions in which AACTE members presented along with colleagues from the PK-12 sector and from state education authorities. I was pleased to address the group on the topic of teacher recruitment policy and practice from providers’ perspective. Other notable sessions on the program included these:
The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
It has taken approximately $500 and 7 months to convince my new home state that I’m a worthy teacher candidate – even though I have two master’s degrees and 11 years of classroom experience, am a National Teacher Fellow, and was a state elementary teacher of the year. It will take an additional 3 years and 36 credit hours of graduate work, at my expense, to retain my position in my new state. It’s a good thing that I’m committed to a career in education, because the process of moving states presents repeated opportunities to step away from the field.
When I was advising prospective teachers at my former institution, I encountered many candidates who had strong potential as educators but struggled to pass the licensure tests. For some of these students, it was helpful to offer practice tests, with feedback, to help combat their test anxiety, but it was challenging for me to find time for this work.
So when I recently met Stephanie Shapiro, the partnerships manager of a test-prep company that offers just this kind of service to teacher candidates–some of it for free–I was intrigued and persuaded her to join AACTE as a new affiliate member. I asked her to share how her organization, Teachers Test Prep, is helping teacher candidates pass their exams. Here’s her response:
Ed Prep Matters is featuring “Stories of Impact” to showcase AACTE member institutions with educator preparation programs that are making a positive impact in their communities and beyond through innovative practices. We are committed to sharing members’ success stories and encourage you to do the same.
Teacher shortage is an issue nationwide but especially in Nevada, where 955 classrooms were without licensed teachers at the start of the 2015-16 school year. Now with engineering and technology giants Tesla and Switch establishing a strong presence in northern Nevada, top-quality teachers are in more demand than ever in our community.
Starting this fall, the state of Georgia is strengthening its standards for licensing new teachers by requiring them to pass edTPA, a performance assessment indicating they really are effective and ready for the classroom.
The new requirement, part of a broad overhaul of the state’s structure for evaluating performance of both existing and brand new teachers, will take effect September 1. At that point, teacher candidates emerging from student teaching will receive their initial "induction" certification only after meeting a qualifying score on edTPA. In addition, teachers enrolled in Georgia’s GaTAPP nontraditional preparation program must pass edTPA prior to completing the program.
A new ethics framework from the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) aims to guide PK-12 educators in their decision making—and assist their preparation programs in nurturing their ability to make ethical decisions. NASDTEC unveiled the Model Code of Ethics for Educators at a press conference June 25 in Washington, DC.
The code was developed over the past year in a joint effort with Educational Testing Service, the University of Phoenix, and the National Association of State Teachers of the Year. Once the draft was ready, a public comment period last winter provided feedback before the language was finalized. NASDTEC considers the result to be a fluid document that will continue to adjust to conditions in the field. Its board even created a new National Council for the Advancement of Educator Ethics to oversee modifications to the framework on an ongoing basis, and comments are still welcome on the document.
To quote Valerie Strauss in the May 28 edition of The Washington Post, “What the heck is going on with Wisconsin public education?” Efforts in the Wisconsin State Legislature to reform education without the transparency of public debate, or the consultation of educators, resulted in proposed legislation that may erode the basic foundation of Wisconsin’s public school system. Do politicians realize they are proposing a licensure policy that, if approved, would require barbers (yes, you read that right) to have more training at their craft than teachers?
Seriously, what the heck IS going on?
On July 22, New York Commissioner of Education John King convened a task force to advise the state on its future use of edTPA, a performance assessment system for aspiring teachers that is now required for licensure in New York.
As the first state to fully implement policy requiring new teachers to pass edTPA for licensure, New York and its PK-12 educators and teacher educators have encountered a variety of operational challenges. Every state that follows New York, as well as our larger professional community, will benefit from New York’s initiative, experience, and solutions.
Consequential use of edTPA is just one of four assessment innovations rolled out in New York’s ambitious new licensing process. (Other required licensure assessments are the Educating All Students exam, Academic Literacy Skills test, and certificate-specific Content Specialty Tests.) While some of us have expressed concern about the rapid roll-out schedule, it is apparent that many candidates were indeed ready to meet the rigorous new requirements: The initial edTPA pass rate was 84%, which we find impressive and encouraging.
State and national policy trends around teaching credentials will be the focus of a major forum at AACTE’s 2014 Annual Meeting, “Maintaining the Value of the Teaching Credential: Challenges and Opportunities.”
The teaching credential is facing challenges at all levels. Several states have devalued the worth of the master’s degree as it relates to advanced certification, and others now award the same credential to new teachers regardless of whether they have completed their preparation. At the federal level, serious discussions are taking place as to what standard, if any, should exist to enter the teaching profession.