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: The District of Columbia does not offer emergency licenses. The District's initial license requires admission to a preparation program, a bachelor's degree, and passage of all required content tests.
DCMR 5A-1601 Test requirements https://osse.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/osse/publication/attachments/Educator%20Testing%20Flyer%20as%20of%20May%2012%202017.pdf Guide for Preparing subject matter program proposals https://osse.dc.gov/service/guidance-preparing-subject-area-program-proposals
Ensure that all teachers are sufficiently prepared before they enter the classroom.
Although the District of Columbia is commended for not allowing teachers to teach as the teacher of record under an emergency license, the District's initial license is problematic in that teachers may potentially teach for up to three years without having completed a teacher preparation program. The state should require all teachers to complete a preparation program prior to entering the classroom.
The District of Columbia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
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.