The state should close loopholes that allow teachers who have not met licensure requirements to continue teaching.
Georgia allows one-year waiver certificates to be issued at the request of an employing school system to individuals who have not satisfied all certification requirements, including content assessments. To be eligible for a waiver certificate, the applicant must have a bachelor's degree, a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher and adequate time to complete requirements within one year. The waiver certificate is valid for one year and may not be renewed.
Ensure that all teachers pass required subject-matter licensing tests before they enter the classroom.
While Georgia's policy minimizes the risks brought about by having teachers in classrooms who lack sufficient or appropriate subject-matter knowledge by offering waiver certificates for one year only, the state could take its policy a step further and require all teachers to meet subject-matter licensure requirements prior to entering the classroom.
Georgia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
Research has shown that "the difference in student performance in a single academic year from having a good as opposed to a bad teacher can be more than one full year of standardized achievement." See E. Hanushek, "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," The Journal of Political Economy 100 No. 1 (1992): 84-117. Hanushek has also found that highly effective teachers can improve future student earnings by more than $400,000, assuming a class of 20. "The Economic Value of Higher Teacher Quality." National Bureau of Economic Research. Working Paper 16606 (2010).