Licensure Reciprocity: Connecticut

Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy


The state should help to make licenses fully portable among states, with appropriate safeguards.

Does not meet goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Licensure Reciprocity: Connecticut results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of Connecticut's policies

Connecticut does not support licensure reciprocity for certified teachers from other states.

Unfortunately, Connecticut allows out-of-state teachers with three years of teaching experience in the requested subject under a Level II certificate to be exempt from the state's subject-area and basic skills tests.

Certificated out-of-state teachers may be eligible for a comparable Connecticut license if they have completed an approved program at a regionally accredited institution or can verify 20 months of experience in the same public school.

Moreover, transcripts are required for all applicants; however, it is not clear whether the state analyzes these transcripts to determine whether a teacher was prepared through a traditional or alternate route or whether additional coursework will be required.

Connecticut is also a participant in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement; however, the latest iteration of this agreement no longer purports to be a reciprocity agreement among states and thus is no longer included in this analysis.


Recommendations for Connecticut

To uphold standards, require that teachers coming from other states meet testing requirements.
Connecticut should insist that out-of-state teachers meet its own testing requirements, and it should not provide any waivers of its teacher tests unless an applicant can provide evidence of a passing score under its own standards.

Offer a standard license to certified out-of-state teachers, absent unnecessary requirements.
Connecticut should consider adopting a more flexible policy regarding portability. Transcript reviews are not a particularly meaningful or efficient exercise, and the state should consider discontinuing its requirement for the submission of transcripts for all teachers. Transcript analysis is likely to result in additional coursework requirements, even for traditionally prepared teachers; alternate route teachers, on the other hand, may have to virtually begin anew, repeating some, most or all of a teacher preparation program in Connecticut.

Connecticut should also drop its requirement regarding experience in the same school because it may deter talented teachers from applying for certification in the state. 

Accord the same license to out-of-state alternate route teachers as would be accorded to traditionally prepared teachers.
Connecticut's certification requirement regarding completion of an approved program at a regionally accredited institution or verification of 20 months of experience in the same public school not only has no apparent justification, but it also is especially burdensome for alternate route teachers.

Regardless of whether a teacher was prepared through a traditional or alternate route, all certified out-of-state teachers should receive equal treatment. State policies that discriminate against teachers who were prepared in an alternate route are not supported by evidence. In fact, a substantial body of research has failed to discern differences in effectiveness between alternate and traditional route teachers.

State response to our analysis

Connecticut asserted that anyone who has completed a credit-based alternate route to certification (ARC) program may apply for certification in the state just like a traditionally educated candidate. If the ARC is noncredit bearing, but the candidate has demonstrated "effectiveness" by serving successfully in one district for a period of 30 months under an out-of-state certificate, he or she will receive a provisional certificate. If the ARC is noncredit bearing, but the candidate does not have 30 months of experience, he or she will be issued a temporary 90-day certificate, similar to what the ARC completer from Connecticut would receive. After successful completion, the employing district will request issuance of an initial certificate at the conclusion of the 90-day period. 

Research rationale

Many professions have gone further than teaching in encouraging interstate mobility. The requirements for attorneys, for example, are complicated, but often offer certain kinds of flexibility, such as allowing them to answer a small set of additional questions. See the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admissions Requirements 2007, published by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and the American Bar Association, available at: .

On the similarity in effectiveness between graduates of traditional and alternative programs, see  J. Constantine, D. Player, T. Silva, K. Hallgren, M. Grider, and J. Deke, An Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification, Final Report. National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Services, U.S. Department of Education (2009), D. Boyd, et al. "How Changes in Entry Requirements Alter the Teacher Workforce and Affect Student Achievement." Education Finance and Policy, (2006).  T. Kane, J. Rockoff, and D. Staiger. "What Does Certification Tell Us About Teacher Effectiveness? Evidence from New York City." National Bureau of Economic Research. (2006), G. Henry and C. Thompson, "Impacts of Teacher Preparation on Student Test Scores in North Carolina." Teacher Portals. University of North Carolina (2010). Z.Xu, J. Hannaway and C. Taylor, "Making a Difference? The Effects of Teach for America in High School." The Urban Institute/Calder. (2009), D. Boyd et al "Recruiting Effective Math Teachers, How Do Math Immersion Teachers Compare? Evidence from New York City." Calder Institute (2009); as well as "How Changes in Entry Requirements Alter the Teacher Workforce and Affect Student Achievement," by Donald Boyd, Pamela Grossman, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, and James Wyckoff, National Bureau of Economic Research, December 2005; and "The Effects of Teach For America on Students: Findings from a National Evaluation," (Mathematica Policy Research Inc., 2004).