The state should close loopholes that allow teachers who have not met licensure requirements to continue teaching. This goal was consistent between 2015 and 2017.
Emergency License(s) Availability:
Connecticut offers an interim certificate to teachers who have not passed required state licensing tests. Applicants are eligible for an interim certificate only once and must complete required tests prior to the certificate's expiration date. The interim certificate is also issued to: 1) teachers new to Connecticut who have taught for at least one school year and are certified in
their home state, 2) graduates of approved teacher preparation programs
outside Connecticut, and 3) charter school teachers hired after July 1st
in any school year who meet the requirements for entry into
Connecticut's alternative certification program.
Emergency License Validity Period: Connecticut's interim certificate is valid for 12 months and is nonrenewable. The license may be extended for up to two years by the state board of education for interim certificates with an endorsement in bilingual education.
Ensure that all teachers pass required subject-matter licensing tests before they enter the classroom.
Connecticut's policy offering its interim certificate for one year only minimizes the risks inherent in having teachers in classrooms who lack appropriate subject-matter knowledge; however, the state could strengthen its policy by requiring all teachers to meet subject-matter licensure requirements prior to entering the classroom.
Connecticut was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis. The state also indicated that eligibility requirements for an interim certificate for teachers coming to Connecticut from another state who have taught two or more years have been amended to allow for an exemption from completing a course in special education and participating in the Teacher Education and Mentoring (TEAM) Program.
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.