Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should help to make licenses fully portable among states, with appropriate safeguards.
Kansas does not support licensure reciprocity for certified teachers from other states.
Regrettably, Kansas grants a waiver for its licensing tests to any out-of-state teacher with three years of experience and a professional license.
Teachers with valid out-of-state certificates may be eligible for Kansas's professional certificate. Applicants must meet the state's requirement of one year of accredited experience or eight semester hours of credit. Transcripts are also required for all applicants. Because Kansas requires completion of an approved teacher preparation program, it appears to analyze transcripts to determine whether a teacher was prepared through a traditional or alternate route and whether additional coursework will be required. States that reach a determination about an applicant's licensure status on the basis of the course titles listed on the applicant's transcript may end up mistakenly equating the amount of required coursework with the teacher's qualifications.
In addition, Kansas requires out-of-state teachers who completed an alternate route to submit their case to the state's Licensure Review Committee, reinforcing an outdated view that the alternate route to licensure is substandard.
Kansas is also a participant in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement; however, the latest iteration of this agreement no longer purports to be a reciprocity agreement among states and thus is no longer included in this analysis.
Regulation and Standards for Kansas Educators, Rules 91-1-204(c)(3), -211
To uphold standards, require that teachers coming from other states meet testing requirements.
Kansas takes considerable risk by granting a waiver for its licensing tests to any out-of-state teacher who has three years of teaching experience. The state should not provide any waivers of its teacher tests unless an applicant can provide evidence of a passing score under its own standards. The negative impact on student learning stemming from a teacher's inadequate subject-matter knowledge is not mitigated by the teacher's having experience.
Offer a standard license to certified out-of-state teachers, absent unnecessary requirements.
Kansas should reconsider its requirement regarding coursework and experience, as it may deter talented teachers from applying for certification. In addition, transcript analysis is likely to result in additional coursework requirements, even for traditionally prepared teachers; alternate route teachers, on the other hand, may have to virtually begin anew, repeating some, most or all of a teacher preparation program in Kansas.
Accord the same license to out-of-state alternate route teachers as would be accorded to traditionally prepared teachers.
Regardless of whether a teacher was prepared through a traditional or alternate route, all certified out-of-state teachers should receive equal treatment. State policies that discriminate against teachers who were prepared in an alternate route are not supported by evidence. In fact, a substantial body of research has failed to discern differences in effectiveness between alternate and traditional route teachers.
Kansas asserted that it requires the completion of both pedagogical and content assessments prescribed by the State Board of Education.
The regulation referred to by the state requires, for an initial teaching license, "verification of successful completion of an endorsement content assessment prescribed by the state board or evidence of successful completion of an endorsement content assessment in the state in which the applicant holds a license." Therefore, Kansas does not ensure that these out-of-state candidates meet its own testing requirements.