Licensure Loopholes: Arkansas

Exiting Ineffective Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should close loopholes that allow teachers who have not met licensure requirements to continue teaching.

Nearly meets
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Licensure Loopholes: Arkansas results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/AR-Licensure-Loopholes-10

Analysis of Arkansas's policies

Arkansas allows in-state program graduates to teach for one year under a nonrenewable provisional license if they have not completed their required subject-specific and pedagogical (Praxis II) assessments and/or the required Arkansas history course. This waiver is available to out-of state teachers as well, whether or not they have been licensed in another state.  

Citation

Recommendations for Arkansas

Ensure that all teachers pass required subject-matter licensing tests before they enter the classroom.
While Arkansas' policy minimizes the risks brought about by having teachers in classrooms who lack sufficient or appropriate subject-matter knowledge by offering its provisional license for one year only, the state could take its policy a step further and require all teachers to meet subject-matter licensure requirements prior to entering the classroom.

State response to our analysis

Arkansas recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

Research has shown that "the difference in student performance in a single academic year from having a good as opposed to a bad teacher can be more than one full year of standardized achievement." See E. Hanushek, "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," The Journal of Political Economy 100 No. 1 (1992): 84-117. Hanushek has also found that highly effective teachers can improve future student earnings by more than $400,000, assuming a class of 20.  "The Economic Value of Higher Teacher Quality." National Bureau of Economic Research. Working Paper 16606 (2010).