Licensure Loopholes: New York

Exiting Ineffective Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should close loopholes that allow teachers who have not met licensure requirements to continue teaching.

Does not meet
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Licensure Loopholes: New York results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/NY-Licensure-Loopholes-10

Analysis of New York's policies

New York allows new teachers who have not met the state's licensure requirements to teach under the Conditional Initial License. This certificate may be granted to individuals who hold a certificate in an equivalent title from another state but who have not met New York's testing requirements. The license is valid for two years. 

Citation

Recommendations for New York

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, instead extending personal consideration to adults who may not be able to meet minimal state standards. New York should ensure that all teachers pass licensing tests— an important minimum benchmark for entering the profession—before entering the classroom.

Limit exceptions to one year.
There might be limited and exceptional circumstances under which conditional or emergency licenses need to be granted. In these instances, it is reasonable for a state to give teachers up to one year to pass required licensing tests. New York's current policy puts students at risk by allowing teachers to teach on a Conditional Initial License for two years without passing required licensing tests. 

State response to our analysis

New York recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

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).