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: Delaware may issue emergency certificates to teachers with an initial license who have not yet met the requirements of a standard certificate. In Delaware, a license allows a person to teach and the standard certificate indicates which subject and grade level can be taught. An emergency certificate allows teachers to teach out-of-field in the area of the standard certificate they are pursuing. Passage of a content test in the area of the standard certificate for which the teacher is pursuing, is not required for issuance of the emergency certificate.
Emergency License Validity Period: The emergency certificate is valid for one year. Delaware requires any district that wishes to extend the emergency certificate for an additional year to submit evidence that the teacher received a satisfactory evaluation on the Delaware Performance Appraisal System and document the emergency-certificate holder's progress toward meeting certification requirements. After two years, the certificate may be extended for one additional year due to exigent circumstances such as serious illness or military service.
COVID-19 State Policy: Delaware has not implemented any changes to its rules regarding Provisional and Emergency Licensure. COVID-19 policies do not affect the state's grade in Provisional and Emergency Licensure.
Requirements for Out-of-State Teachers: Because licensure requirements for out-of-state teachers are scored in Requirements for Out-of-State Teachers, only the state's policies regarding emergency/provisional license(s) are considered as part of this goal.
Delaware Administrative Code 14.1504;1505;1506;1510 Delaware Code Title 14 Chapters 1210 and 1221 Licensure and Certification Definitions https://www.doe.k12.de.us/page/3666#deftmpcert
Ensure that all teachers—including teachers filling shortage areas—meet subject-matter licensing standards.
Allowing licensed teachers who have not passed licensure tests in the area in which they are teaching to remain in the classroom for up to three years neglects the needs of students. Having fully licensed teachers teach out-of-field only minimizes the risks inherent in having teachers in classrooms who lack appropriate subject-matter knowledge. Delaware could strengthen its policy by requiring all teachers to meet the subject-matter test requirements of the area of their emergency certificate within one year, or limit the ability of a teacher to teach out-of-field to one year.
Limit exceptions to one year.
Although suboptimal, there may be limited and exceptional circumstances under which conditional or emergency licenses are necessary. In these instances, it is reasonable for a state to give teachers up to one year to pass required licensing tests. Delaware's current policy puts students at risk by allowing teachers to teach on emergency certificates for three years without passing required subject-matter licensing tests.
Delaware 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.