Licensure Reciprocity: New York

Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy


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

Meets goal in part
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Licensure Reciprocity: New York results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of New York's policies

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

Commendably, New York provides testing waivers only to teachers who have attained National Board Certification. All other out-of-state teachers, no matter how many years of experience they have, must meet New York's passing scores on licensing tests. The state also allows out-of-state teachers to teach on its Conditional Initial Certificate for two years to satisfy the examination requirements.

However, other aspects of the state's policy create obstacles for teachers from other states seeking licensure in New York. Teachers with comparable out-of-state certificates are eligible for New York's standard license. Applicants are required to complete an approved teacher education program; alternate route teachers must have three years of experience within the last seven years. Those who lack three years of experience must submit transcripts for review.

New York 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.


Recommendations for New York

Require out-of-state teachers to pass licensing tests within one year.
Two years in the classroom without meeting the state's testing requirements is too long. New York should ensure that all out-of-state teachers meet its testing standards in their first year of teaching in the state.

Offer a standard license to certified out-of-state teachers, absent unnecessary requirements.
New York's policy regarding submission of transcripts would appear to imply that, lacking a clear match with New York's own professional requirements, the teacher would have to begin anew, repeating some, most or all of a preparation program in New York. 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.

Accord the same license to out-of-state alternate route teachers as would be accorded to traditionally prepared teachers.
New York should reconsider its recency requirement regarding experience for alternate route teachers, as it may deter talented teachers from applying for certification. New York should also ensure that its experience requirement does not preclude fully certified alternate route teachers who have completed their preparation from obtaining reciprocal licensure. For example, certified Teach For America teachers who have fulfilled their two-year commitment in other states should be eligible for licensure in New York.

State response to our analysis

New York recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

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: .

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).