Licensure Reciprocity: South Carolina

Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy

Goal

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

Does not meet
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Licensure Reciprocity: South Carolina results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/SC-Licensure-Reciprocity-7

Analysis of South Carolina's policies

South Carolina does not support licensure reciprocity for certified teachers from other states.

Regrettably, South Carolina grants a waiver for its licensing tests to out-of-state teachers applying for certification.

Teachers with valid, standard out-of-state certificates may be eligible for South Carolina's Reciprocal Professional Certificate. All applicants must have 27 months of experience within the last seven years; those with less experience may apply for the Reciprocal Initial Certificate. Transcripts are required for all out-of-state teachers; however, it is not clear whether the state analyzes transcripts to determine whether a teacher was prepared through a traditional or alternate route or whether additional coursework will be required.

South Carolina 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.

Citation

Recommendations for South Carolina

To uphold standards, require that teachers coming from other states meet testing requirements.
South Carolina takes considerable risk by granting a waiver for its licensing tests to any teacher who has an out-of-state certificate. It should not waive any teacher tests unless an applicant can provide evidence of a passing score under its own standards. The negative impact on student learning stemming from a teacher's inadequate subject-matter knowledge is not mitigated by the teacher's having met another state's requirements.

Offer a standard license to certified out-of-state teachers, absent unnecessary requirements.
South Carolina should reconsider its recency requirement regarding experience, as it may deter talented teachers from applying for certification, especially if the requirement means that they must teach on an initial license.

Accord the same license to out-of-state alternate route teachers as would be accorded to traditionally prepared teachers.
South Carolina should consider discontinuing its requirement for the submission of transcripts. Transcript analysis is likely to result in additional coursework requirements, even for traditionally prepared teachers; alternate route teachers, on the other hand, may have to virtually begin anew, repeating some, most or all of a teacher preparation program in South Carolina. Regardless of whether a teacher was prepared through a traditional or alternate route, all certified out-of-state teachers should receive equal treatment.

State response to our analysis

South Carolina was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced 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:
http://www.ncbex.org/ .

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).