The state should close loopholes that allow teachers who have not met licensure requirements to continue teaching. This goal was reorganized in 2021.
Emergency Licenses Availability: Oregon allows education preparation candidates who have not met licensure requirements to teach under the Restricted Teaching License. Eligibility requirements include a bachelor's degree and "substantial preparation in the subject matter endorsements on the license," as well as a letter from the employing district describing a particular need for the applicant's teacher qualifications. Upon expiration of the certificate, applicants are expected to meet the requirements of an initial license.
The state also offers a Limited Teaching License. This license is requested by the hiring district to employ a person to teach a highly specialized subject. The applicant must demonstrate either work experience or education in the highly specialized instruction area.
Oregon allows already-licensed teachers to teach out-of-field on a License for Conditional Assignment (LCA). This license requires that the teacher have a valid license and a request from the hiring district.
Experienced teaching assistants who have completed at least 75% of an educator preparation program may be issued a Teaching Associate License.
Rules regarding the state's Emergency Teaching License allow this license to be granted "…at the discretion of the Executive Director, or the Director of Licensure, for any length of time deemed necessary to protect the district's programs or students."
Emergency License Validity Period: The Restricted Teaching License is valid for one year and may be renewed twice. The first renewal requires proof of enrollment in an approved educator preparation program in the area of the restricted license. The second renewal requires completion of at least 50% of the educator preparation program.
The Limited Teaching License is valid for three years and is renewable, provided the applicant provides a statement from the hiring district indicating the applicant will continue to teach in the same highly specialized area and completes the professional development requirements.
The License for Conditional Assignments is valid for one year and may be reauthorized. The LCA will not be reauthorized if the endorsement area only requires passage of a content test, or nine quarter hours or less of coursework. For other reauthorizations, a request from the hiring district is necessary as well as demonstration that "the educator is on target to meet the qualifications for the endorsement or license by the end of the educators eligibility for LCA authorizations."
The Teaching Associate License is valid for two years and is not renewable.
Although an Emergency Teaching License can't be renewed, it can be extended "…at the discretion of the Executive Director after considering all extenuating circumstances."
COVID-19 State Policy: Oregon has implemented the following changes to its rules regarding Provisional and Emergency Licensure. Districts may hire emergency licensed candidates without restriction or reported sponsorship, "within the authorized subject of the license or within a substantially similar placement." COVID-19 policies do not affect the state's grade in Provisional and Emergency Licensure.
Requirements for Out-of-State Teachers: Because licensure requirements for out-of-state teachers are scored in Requirements for Out-of-State Teachers, only the state's policies regarding emergency/provisional license(s) are considered as part of this goal.
Oregon Administrative Rules 584-210-0100; -0110; -0165; -0130 COVID-19 Information: https://www.oregon.gov/tspc/Documents/COVID-19_TSPC_Response_3_23_20.pdf
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, because it enables adults who may not be able to meet minimal state standards to earn teaching licenses. Oregon should ensure that all teachers are required to pass licensing tests — an important minimum benchmark for entering the profession — before entering the classroom as the teacher of record.
Limit exceptions to one year.
Although suboptimal, there may be limited and exceptional circumstances under which conditional or emergency licenses are necessary. In these instances, it is reasonable for a state to give teachers up to one year to pass required licensing tests. Oregon's current policy puts students at risk by allowing teachers to teach for up to three years without passing required subject-matter tests.
Oregon did not respond to NCTQ's request to review this analysis for accuracy.
6B: Provisional and Emergency Licensure
Teachers who have not passed content licensing tests 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 minimum state standards.
While some flexibility may be necessary because licensing tests are not always administered with the needed frequency, making provisional certificates and waivers available year after year could signal that 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.