Licensure Loopholes: Ohio

2011 Exiting Ineffective Teachers Policy

Goal

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

Nearly meets
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Licensure Loopholes: Ohio results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/OH-Licensure-Loopholes-10

Analysis of Ohio's policies

Ohio allows teachers who have not met standard licensure requirements for a particular endorsement area to teach in that area under a supplemental license. The license must be requested by the employing superintendent and is only issued to those who hold a currently valid Ohio standard certificate "to teach in a supplemental area while they are in the process of obtaining standard licensure for that area." The certificate is valid for one year, and although it is renewable twice, successful completion of the Praxis II content knowledge test for the particular licensure area is required for the first renewal. 

Citation

Recommendations for Ohio

Ensure that all teachers pass required subject-matter licensing tests before they enter the classroom.
While Ohio's policy minimizes the risks brought about by having teachers in classrooms who lack sufficient or appropriate subject-matter knowledge by offering its supplemental license for one year only before requiring successful completion of the Praxis II, the state could take its policy a step further and require all teachers to meet subject-matter license requirements prior to entering the classroom.

State response to our analysis

Ohio recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

How we graded

Teachers who have not passed licensing tests may place students at risk.

While states may need a regulatory basis for filling classroom positions with a few people who do not hold full teaching credentials, many of the regulations permitting this put the instructional needs of children at risk, often year after year. For example, schools can make liberal use of provisional certificates or waivers provided by the state if they fill classroom positions with instructors who have completed a teacher preparation program but have not passed their state licensing tests. These allowances are permitted for up to three years in some states. The unfortunate consequence is that students' needs are neglected in an effort to extend personal consideration to adults who cannot meet minimal state standards.

While some flexibility may be necessary because licensing tests are not always administered with the needed frequency, the availability of provisional certificates and waivers year after year signals that even the state does not put much value on its licensing standards or what they represent. States accordingly need to ensure that all persons given full charge of children's learning are required to pass the relevant licensing tests in their first year of teaching, ideally before they enter the classroom. Licensing tests are an important minimum benchmark in the profession, and states that allow teachers to postpone passing these tests are abandoning one of the basic responsibilities of licensure.

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).