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: Maryland allows teachers who have not met the state's licensure requirements to teach under a conditional teacher degree certificate or a conditional teacher nondegree certificate. The conditional teacher degree certificate requires a bachelor's degree, while the nondegree certificate is intended for those teaching in a career and technology area that does not require a bachelor's degree. A local school system may request a conditional certificate if it is unable to fill the position with a qualified person who holds a professional certificate.
Maryland now offers an adjunct certificate. This certificate must be requested by the local superintendent, and an applicant must have a high school diploma or equivalent, an industry license if applicable, and at least five years of satisfactory occupational experience. Persons with this certificate may only teach part-time in the area of their occupational expertise.
Emergency License Validity Period: Maryland's conditional certificates are valid for two years. They can be renewed once at the request of the superintendent, provided the teacher has completed 12 semester hours of coursework toward the professional certificate and passed the required teacher certification test.
The adjunct certificate may be issued for one year and can be renewed by request of the local school system. It is unclear how many renewals are possible.
COVID-19 State Policy: Maryland has implemented the following changes to its rules regarding Provisional and Emergency Licensure. The state board of education modified the Waiver and Special Certification Provisions to allow teachers who have completed a preparation program but are unable to take licensure exams to teach on an emergency certificate while they complete the testing requirements. An emergency certificate can also be issued to a teacher who has a conditional degree or nondegree certificate and has completed all requirements of the evaluation except certification assessments. The emergency certificate is valid for six months from the date that the state of emergency is declared over. The emergency certificate cannot be renewed. 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.
Certification Types http://marylandpublicschools.org/about/Pages/DEE/Certification/Certification-Types.aspx COMAR 13A.12.01.08 and 13A.12.01.11 Maryland's Recovery Plan for Education http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/newsroom/Documents/MSDERecoveryPlan.pdf April 28, 2020 Board Agenda Item http://marylandpublicschools.org/stateboard/Documents/2020/0428/13A.12.01.14WaiversandSpecialCertProvisions.pdf
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, because it enables adults who may not be able to meet minimal state standards to earn teaching licenses. Maryland should ensure that all teachers are required to pass licensing tests — an important minimum benchmark for entering the profession —before 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. Maryland's current policy puts students at risk by allowing teachers to teach on conditional certificates for up to three years without passing required licensing tests.
Maryland 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.