2011 Exiting Ineffective Teachers Policy
The state should close loopholes that allow teachers who have not met licensure requirements to continue teaching.
Montana does not require subject-matter testing as part of its teacher certification policy.
Educator Licensure http://www.opi.mt.gov/Cert/index.html
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, instead extending personal consideration to adults who may not be able to meet minimal state standards. Licensing tests are an important minimum benchmark in the profession, and by not requiring such a test, Montana is abandoning one of the basic responsibilities of licensure. As such, the state should require all teachers to pass subject-matter tests prior to entering the classroom. The state's current policy puts students at risk.
Montana declined to respond to NCTQ's analyses.
Research has shown that "the difference in student performance in a single academic year from having a good as opposed to a bad teacher can be more than one full year of standardized achievement." See E. Hanushek, "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," The Journal of Political Economy 100 No. 1 (1992): 84-117. Hanushek has also found that highly effective teachers can improve future student earnings by more than $400,000, assuming a class of 20. "The Economic Value of Higher Teacher Quality." National Bureau of Economic Research. Working Paper 16606 (2010).