2011 Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should help to make licenses fully portable among states, with appropriate safeguards.
Maryland does not support licensure reciprocity for certified teachers from other states.
Regrettably, Maryland grants a waiver of its licensing tests to any out-of-state teacher who has completed a state-approved program and has at least two years of experience.
Teachers with valid, comparable out-of-state certificates may be eligible for Maryland's professional certification. Those who completed a traditional preparation program and earned a professional license may apply for Maryland's equivalent license. However, transcripts are required for all applicants. It is not clear whether the state analyzes transcripts to determine whether a teacher was prepared through a traditional or alternate route or whether additional coursework will be required.
Maryland 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.
Code of Maryland Regulations, 13A.12.01.04, -.07
To uphold standards, require that teachers coming from other states meet testing requirements.
Maryland takes considerable risk by granting a waiver for its licensing tests to any out-of-state teacher who has two 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.
Accord the same license to out-of-state alternate route teachers as would be accorded to traditionally prepared teachers.
Maryland should consider discontinuing its requirement for the submission of transcripts. 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 Maryland.
Maryland asserted that transcripts are required for all candidates to verify that degree requirements have been met. For teachers with professional licensure who meet the experienced professional requirement, no differentiation is made regarding preparation route. Therefore, those experienced individuals who earn licensure through alternate pathways elsewhere are treated the same way as experienced professionals with traditional route preparation.
Maryland added that it carefully evaluates alternate preparation routes from other states to assess alignment with the state's standards. Individuals may, based on program alignment, receive either a Resident Teacher Certificate (if program requirements in the originating state have not been completed), or a Standard Professional Certificate.
The state also contended that it does not waive the testing requirement for initial certification unless the individual has a valid out-of-state professional certificate and verification of three years of satisfactory experience within the past seven years in the certificate area being sought. Teachers with fewer than three years may meet initial certification requirements in one of the following ways: complete a Maryland approved program and present qualifying scores on Maryland tests, or complete an out-of-state approved program and present a valid professional certificate and the tests used to obtain that certificate.
"Initial certification by transcript analysis is but one pathway to initial certification. Although the use of this pathway has diminished over time, this pathway does provide an option for individuals who have degrees in a variety of content areas and prescribes relevant professional education coursework. Individuals completing approved programs are not subject to a transcript analysis."
Further, Maryland noted that it is currently proposing regulation changes recommended by the Certification Re-Structuring Work Group convened by the Professional Standards in Teacher Education Board. The proposal recommends a two-tiered structure that provides for both licensure and certification, the award of the latter depending in part on satisfactory or effective teaching and evidence of student growth. If these changes are made, all educators will receive initial licensure, but only those who have satisfactory evaluations as determined through performance-based assessments, including evidence of student growth, would be awarded certification.
Finally, the state pointed out that even under the current structure, teachers from recognized programs such as Teach For America would be eligible to obtain licensure in Maryland assuming they successfully completed their program in another state and received that state's initial professional certifications. They must also present qualifying scores used to obtain the out-of-state professional certificate.
The state's response indicates a commitment to reciprocity that unfortunately is not reflected in policy. Maryland should review its rules and procedures to ensure that they are not creating unnecessary obstacles, or even the perception of such obstacles, which could dissuade talented teachers from other states from seeking licensure in Maryland.