Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should offer a license with minimal requirements that allows content experts to teach part time.
Oklahoma authorizes an adjunct license with minimal requirements that allows content experts to teach part time.
Candidates for an adjunct license must be "persons with distinguished qualifications in their field." Oklahoma does not provide any additional guidelines for adjunct requirements; however, adjunct teachers are not required to meet standard certification requirements.
The state limits an adjunct teacher to 90 clock hours of classroom teaching per semester.
Oklahoma Statutes Chapter 70 Article 6 Section 156 (f) http://www.sde.state.ok.us/Law/Lawbook/law/Chapter1/C_1-A_VI.htm
Require applicants to pass a subject-matter test.
Oklahoma is commended for offering a license that increases districts' flexibility to staff certain subjects, including many STEM areas, that are frequently hard to staff or may not have high enough enrollment to necessitate a full-time position. Although this license is designed to enable distinguished individuals to teach, Oklahoma should still require a subject-matter test. While documentation provided by the applicant may show evidence of expertise in a particular field, only a subject-matter test ensures that individuals granted this license know the specific content they will need to teach.
Oklahoma explained that each local board of education has the responsibility for determining the highly qualified status of the adjunct teacher and recommending such to the state.
Licensure is a matter of state oversight, and the state should therefore ensure that individuals are not licensed to teach in Oklahoma who do not meet minimum expectations. While the intent of this adjunct license is on track, the state should require applicants to pass a subject matter test to demonstrate their content expertise. Even for those with advanced degrees, only a rigorous subject-matter test ensures that these individuals know the specific content they will teach.