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: Hawaii allows individuals without standard teaching licenses to be issued an "emergency hire" permit to teach when licensed teachers are not available for shortage areas or hard-to-fill positions. According to the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board (HTSB) website, to qualify for an emergency hire permit, the individual must have a bachelor's degree and clear a professional fitness (background) check. Additionally, according to Hawaii Administrative Rules, to qualify for an emergency permit, an individual must have a bachelor's degree, submit an official transcript; and be actively pursuing appropriate licensing.
It is worth noting that, in general, Hawaii does not require passage of content tests as a condition of initial licensure. Passage of a content test is one option for candidates to demonstrate content knowledge.
Emergency License Validity Period: Hawaii's emergency hire permit is valid for one year and may be renewed twice. According to the Hawaii Administrative Rules, to renew, the teacher must be actively pursuing licensing and must submit evidence of satisfactory progress "towards obtaining a provisional or standards license."
COVID-19 State Policy: Hawaii 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.
Emergency Hire Requirements http://hawaiiteacherstandardsboard.org/content/wp-content/uploads/REQ-EMERGENCY-HIRE-PERMIT-rev1-10-20.pdf Hawaii Administrative Rules 8-54-9.4 http://hawaiiteacherstandardsboard.org/content/wp-content/uploads/HAR-Signed-9_5_19.pdf
Award standard licenses to teachers only after they have passed a subject-matter test.
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. Licensing tests are an important minimum benchmark in the profession, and by not requiring such a test, Hawaii is abandoning one of the basic responsibilities of licensure. As such, in order to avoid putting students at risk, the state should require all teachers to pass subject-matter tests prior to entering the classroom as the teacher of record.
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. Hawaii's current policy puts students at risk by allowing teachers to teach on emergency certificates for up to three years without passing required subject-matter licensing tests.
Hawaii 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.