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: Florida allows teachers who have completed a teacher preparation program to teach on a temporary certificate, if they have not met all of the requirements for a professional certificate. Candidates for this certificate must hold a degree in the subject area or pass a subject-area examination.
Emergency License Validity Period: The temporary certificate is valid for one year and is nonrenewable. However, the validity period may be extended for up to two years if the requirements for a professional certificate "were not completed due to the serious illness or injury of the applicant, the military service of an applicant's spouse, other extraordinary extenuating circumstances, or if the certificate holder is rated highly effective in the immediate prior year's performance evaluation pursuant to or has completed a 2-year mentorship program."
COVID-19 State Policy: Florida has 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.
Ensure that all teachers pass required subject-matter licensing tests before they enter the classroom.
All students are entitled to teachers who know the subject matter they are teaching. Permitting individuals who have not yet passed state licensing tests to teach neglects the needs of students, because it enables adults who may not be able to meet minimal state standards to earn teaching licenses. Florida should require all teachers to meet subject-matter licensure requirements prior to entering the classroom regardless of whether or not they possess a content area major.
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. Florida's current policy puts students at risk by allowing teachers to teach on a temporary certificate for up to three years without passing required licensing tests.
Florida was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts necessary for 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.