Licensure Loopholes: Hawaii

Exiting Ineffective Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should close loopholes that allow teachers who have not met licensure requirements to continue teaching.

Does not meet
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Licensure Loopholes: Hawaii results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/HI-Licensure-Loopholes-10

Analysis of Hawaii's policies

Hawaii allows new teachers who have not met licensure requirements to be issued an "emergency hire" credential for a period not to exceed one year, but this credential is renewable for up to a maximum of four years. To qualify, the individual must have a bachelor's degree, submit an official transcript and actively pursue appropriate licensing. To renew, the teacher must submit evidence of satisfactory progress toward meeting the licensing standards.

Citation

Recommendations for Hawaii

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, instead extending personal consideration to adults who may not be able to meet minimal state standards. Hawaii should ensure that all teachers have passed their licensing tests—an important minimum benchmark for entering the profession—prior to entering the classroom.

Limit exceptions to one year.
There might be limited and exceptional circumstances under which conditional or emergency licenses need to be granted. In these instances, it is reasonable for a state to give teachers up to one year to pass required licensure tests. However, Hawaii's current policy puts students at risk by allowing teachers to teach on emergency certificates for up to four years without passing required subject-matter tests.

State response to our analysis

Hawaii had no comment on this goal.

Research rationale

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).