The state should close loopholes that allow teachers who have not met licensure requirements to continue teaching. This goal was reorganized in 2021.
Emergency License(s) Availability: California allows individuals to teach on either a Provisional Internship Permit (PIP) or a Short-Term Staff Permit (STSP). Both permits require a bachelor's degree, basic skills requirement, and applicable coursework requirements.
The PIP is available at the request of an employing agency to "fill an immediate staffing need." The employing agency's request for a PIP must verify "a diligent search has been conducted for a suitable credentialed teacher or suitable qualified intern teacher."
The STSP is also only available at the request of an employment agency to fill an acute staffing need. Examples of an acute staffing need include:
State of California Provisional Internship Permit https://www.ctc.ca.gov/docs/default-source/leaflets/cl856.pdf?sfvrsn=eef11aaf_2 State of California Short-Term Staff Permit https://www.ctc.ca.gov/docs/default-source/leaflets/cl858.pdf?sfvrsn=7548854e_2 California Code of Regulations, Sections 80021 and 80021.1 COVID-19 Information https://www.ctc.ca.gov/docs/default-source/commission/files/covid-19-vtw-guidance.pdf?sfvrsn=a8502cb1_18 https://www.ctc.ca.gov/docs/default-source/commission/files/covid-19-variable-term-waivers-credential-candidates-guidance.pdf?sfvrsn=ce1c2cb1_4 https://www.ctc.ca.gov/docs/default-source/commission/files/covid-19-standardized-exam-faq.pdf?sfvrsn=d8452cb1_2
Award standard licenses to teachers only after they have passed a subject-matter test.
All students are entitled to teachers who know the subject matter they are teaching. Permitting individuals who have not yet passed state licensing tests to teach neglects the needs of students, because it enables adults who may not be able to meet minimal state standards to earn teaching licenses. Licensing tests are an important minimum benchmark in the profession, and by not requiring such a test, California is abandoning one of the basic responsibilities of licensure. As such, in order to avoid putting students at risk, the state should require all teachers to pass subject-matter tests prior to entering the classroom as the teacher of record.
California asserted that it is not accurate that the state does not require passage of content tests as a condition of initial licensure. Regarding the proposed goal factors California asked, "What is the evidentiary basis for this policy's qualifying phrase, 'under any circumstances?'" For example, what if a local educational agency has had a vacancy in high school chemistry for six months and have demonstrated robust efforts to recruit? The state also asked for clarification on the definition of a license and asked whether substitute licenses are considered to be a license for this goal.
California offers three methods for demonstrating content knowledge for an initial license, one of which is passage of a content test. Therefore content tests are not required for an initial license as candidates have other options available. The grading rationale for this goal indicates "If the state finds it necessary to confer emergency or provisional licenses to teachers who have not passed the required licensing tests, should do so only under limited and exceptional circumstances and ensure that all requirements are met within one year." The situation cited in California's response would be a "limited and exceptional circumstances." NCTQ understands that situations arise when a fully licensed teacher is not available, but advocates for states to maintain policies that ensure emergency or provisionally licensed teachers have adequate content knowledge for the subjects they will be teaching. Additionally, California is invited to review the research rationale for this goal for the evidentiary basis regarding the impacts teachers with in-depth content knowledge have on student learning. A link to the research rationale is provided below. Substitute licenses are not considered as part of this goal.
6B: Provisional and Emergency Licensure
Teachers who have not passed content licensing tests place students at risk. While states may need a regulatory basis for filling classroom positions with a few people who do not hold full teaching credentials, many of the regulations permitting this put the instructional needs of children at risk, often year after year. For example, schools can make liberal use of provisional certificates or waivers provided by the state if they fill classroom positions with instructors who have completed a teacher preparation program but have not passed their state licensing tests. These allowances are permitted for up to three years in some states. The unfortunate consequence is that students' needs are neglected in an effort to extend personal consideration to adults who cannot meet minimum state standards.
While some flexibility may be necessary because licensing tests are not always administered with the needed frequency, making provisional certificates and waivers available year after year could signal that the state does not put much value on its licensing standards or what they represent. States accordingly need to ensure that all persons given full charge of children's learning are required to pass the relevant licensing tests in their first year of teaching, ideally before they enter the classroom. Licensing tests are an important minimum benchmark in the profession, and states that allow teachers to postpone passing these tests are abandoning one of the basic responsibilities of licensure.