Licensure Reciprocity: Minnesota

Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should help to make licenses fully portable among states, with appropriate safeguards.

Meets in part
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Licensure Reciprocity: Minnesota results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/MN-Licensure-Reciprocity-7

Analysis of Minnesota's policies

Minnesota does not support licensure reciprocity for certified teachers from other states.

Commendably, Minnesota does not grant any waivers of its testing requirements. All out-of-state teachers, no matter how many years of experience they have, must meet Minnesota's passing scores on licensing tests.

However, other aspects of the state's policy create obstacles for teachers from other states seeking licensure in Minnesota. Teachers with valid, out-of-state certificates may be eligible for Minnesota's professional certificate. The state routinely reviews the college transcripts of licensed out-of-state teachers, an exercise that often leads the state to require additional coursework before it will offer an equivalent license. 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.

Minnesota 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.

Citation

Recommendations for Minnesota

Offer a standard license to certified out-of-state teachers, absent unnecessary requirements.
Minnesota 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 Minnesota. Regardless of whether a teacher was prepared through a traditional or alternate route, all certified out-of-state teachers should receive equal treatment.

State response to our analysis

Minnesota recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that legislation was enacted in the 2011 legislative session that requires the Board of Teaching to develop streamlined procedures for recognizing the experience and the professional performance of out-of-state teachers. Minnesota is currently developing plans and processes to implement the law.

Research rationale

Many professions have gone further than teaching in encouraging interstate mobility. The requirements for attorneys, for example, are complicated, but often offer certain kinds of flexibility, such as allowing them to answer a small set of additional questions. See the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admissions Requirements 2007, published by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and the American Bar Association, available at:
http://www.ncbex.org/ .

On the similarity in effectiveness between graduates of traditional and alternative programs, see  J. Constantine, D. Player, T. Silva, K. Hallgren, M. Grider, and J. Deke, An Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification, Final Report. National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Services, U.S. Department of Education (2009), D. Boyd, et al. "How Changes in Entry Requirements Alter the Teacher Workforce and Affect Student Achievement." Education Finance and Policy, (2006).  T. Kane, J. Rockoff, and D. Staiger. "What Does Certification Tell Us About Teacher Effectiveness? Evidence from New York City." National Bureau of Economic Research. (2006), G. Henry and C. Thompson, "Impacts of Teacher Preparation on Student Test Scores in North Carolina." Teacher Portals. University of North Carolina (2010). Z.Xu, J. Hannaway and C. Taylor, "Making a Difference? The Effects of Teach for America in High School." The Urban Institute/Calder. (2009), D. Boyd et al "Recruiting Effective Math Teachers, How Do Math Immersion Teachers Compare? Evidence from New York City." Calder Institute (2009); as well as "How Changes in Entry Requirements Alter the Teacher Workforce and Affect Student Achievement," by Donald Boyd, Pamela Grossman, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, and James Wyckoff, National Bureau of Economic Research, December 2005; and "The Effects of Teach For America on Students: Findings from a National Evaluation," (Mathematica Policy Research Inc., 2004).