The state should help to make licenses fully portable among states for effective teachers, with appropriate safeguards. The bar for this goal was raised in 2017.
Eligibility for Standard License: Delaware allows teachers with current, comparable out-of-state certificates to be eligible for a continuing license. Delaware does not mandate additional coursework or impose recency requirements.
Evidence of Effectiveness: Delaware requires that all out-of-state teachers (both traditional and alternate routes) have at least three years of "successful" experience. Teachers may demonstrate successful experience by submitting two satisfactory evaluations from the other jurisdiction that Delaware finds are equivalent to the overall evaluations required of a Delaware teacher.
Testing Requirement: Delaware accepts test passage from any out-of-state teacher who has passed a test in a previous state, regardless of whether he or she has met Delaware's passing scores.
Additional Requirements: Delaware requires a criminal-history background check.
Require evidence of effective teaching when determining eligibility for full certification.
Delaware is encouraged to strengthen its policy and require that evidence of teacher effectiveness be considered for all candidates who come from states that similarly require student growth.
Delaware was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis. The state added that under its testing requirement, if an educator is brand new to the field, they must meet Delaware's licensure and certification requirements. Only if an educator has experience and holds a reciprocal license are they granted reciprocity to teach in Delaware.
6A: Requirements for Out-of-State Teachers
Evidence of effectiveness is far more important than transcript review. In an attempt to ensure that teachers have the appropriate professional and subject-matter knowledge base when granting certification, states often review a teacher's college transcript, no matter how many years earlier a bachelor's degree was earned. A state certification specialist reviews the college transcript, looking for course titles that appear to match state requirements. If the right matches are not found, a teacher may be required to complete additional coursework before receiving standard licensure. This practice holds true even for experienced teachers who are trying to transfer from another state, regardless of their prior success. The application of these often complex state rules results in unnecessary obstacles to hiring talented and experienced teachers. Evaluation systems which prioritize effectiveness and evidence of student learning offer an opportunity to bypass counterproductive efforts like transcript review and get to the heart of the matter: is the out-of-state teacher seeking licensure in a new state an effective teacher?
Testing requirements should be upheld, not waived. While some states have historically imposed burdensome coursework requirements, many have simultaneously failed to impose minimum standards for licensure testing. Instead, some states have offered waivers to veteran teachers transferring from other states, thereby failing to impose minimal standards of professional and subject-matter knowledge. In upholding licensure standards for out-of-state teachers, the state should be flexible in its processes but vigilant in its verification of adequate knowledge. It is all too common for states to develop policies and practices that reverse these priorities, focusing diligently on comparison of transcripts to state documents while demonstrating little oversight of teachers' knowledge. If a state can verify that a teacher has taught successfully and has the required subject-matter and professional knowledge, its only concern should be ensuring that the teacher is familiar with the state's student learning standards.
States licensing out-of-state teachers should not differentiate between experienced teachers prepared in alternate routes and those prepared in traditional programs. It is understandable that states are wary of accepting alternate route teachers from other states, since programs vary widely in quality. However, the same variance in quality can be found in traditional programs. If a teacher comes from another state with a standard license and a clean criminal record, has demonstrated evidence of effectiveness, and can pass the state's licensure tests, whether the preparation was traditional or alternative should be irrelevant.