Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should help to make licenses fully portable among states, with appropriate safeguards.
Montana does not support licensure reciprocity for certified teachers from other states.
Regrettably, Montana has not yet implemented mandatory subject-matter testing for any teachers as part of its certification policy.
Teachers with valid out-of-state professional certificates may be eligible for a comparable Montana certificate. Applicants must meet "minimal education licensure requirements," which include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning, six semester credits in any coursework under a department of education from an accredited education preparation program and verification of student teaching or one year of teaching experience.
In addition, transcripts are required for all out-of-state applicants. However, it is not clear whether the state analyzes these transcripts to determine whether a teacher was prepared through a traditional or alternate route or whether additional coursework will be required.
Montana 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.
Administrative Rules of Montana 10.57.201
Adopt testing requirements and then require that teachers coming from other states meet those requirements.
Montana should adopt testing requirements that require all teachers, without exception, to pass licensing tests within one year of hire. The negative impact on student learning stemming from a teacher's inadequate subject-matter knowledge is not mitigated by the teacher's having attained certification.
Offer a standard license to certified out-of-state teachers, absent unnecessary requirements.
Montana 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 Montana.
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.
Montana declined to respond to NCTQ's analyses.