Few States Consider Prior Job Performance When Licensing Out-of-State Teachers

New data from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) reveal that the majority of states (35) do not ask for evidence of prior successful teaching for those teachers coming from out of state who are applying for a teaching license-in spite of imposing many demands covering a host of other factors. As important, there are seven states that do not even require a criminal background check on such teachers.

For example, 14 states require out-of-state teacher applicants to take additional coursework, without providing a test-out option. Nineteen states maintain requirements that make it harder for out-of-state applicants to qualify for a license if they were prepared by a non-traditional route or program.

While 16 states’ policies make reference to out-of-state teacher applicants’ prior job performance, only four states (the District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina) have adopted airtight requirements regarding effectiveness, by maintaining precise language that requires out-of-state teachers to provide evidence of having been effective in the classroom, using objective measures of student learning and growth.

Notably, a number of states have lower expectations for out-of-state teachers than for teachers trained instate. Of the 19 states that purport to assess teacher knowledge of how to teach reading to young children, 13 exempt out of state teachers from that same requirement.

To facilitate the movement of successful teachers and maintain high standards for teacher quality and student safety, NCTQ recommends that states maintain the following requirements when licensing out-of-state teachers:

— Require objective evidence of successful prior teaching performance.

— Require out-of-state teachers to demonstrate sufficient mastery of the content knowledge they will be teaching, including how to teach reading.

— Eliminate unnecessary barriers for out-of-state teachers.

— Conduct a background check to investigate any past criminal activity

For more, see the full report, NCTQ Databurst: Licensure Requirements for Out-of-State Teachers, at https://www.nctq.org/publications/NCTQ-Databurst:-Licensure-Requirements-for-Out–of–State-Teachers