The state should help to make licenses fully portable among states, with appropriate safeguards.
South Dakota does not support licensure reciprocity for certified teachers from other states.
Commendably, South Dakota does not provide any waivers on its testing requirements. All out-of-state teachers, no matter how many years of experience they have, must meet South Dakota's passing scores on licensing tests.
However, other aspects of the state's policy create obstacles for teachers from other states seeking licensure in South Dakota. Teachers with valid out-of-state certificates are eligible for comparable licensure in South Dakota. Applicants must meet the state's coursework recency requirement, meaning that if the out-of-state teacher's degree is more than five years old, he or she must show proof of six semester credit hours within the five-year period preceding application.
In addition, 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 Dakota also requires all incoming teachers to complete two courses in human relations and South Dakota Indian Studies. The state does not appear to offer a test-out option for this coursework.
South Dakota 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.
Offer a standard license to certified out-of-state teachers, absent unnecessary requirements.
South Dakota should reconsider its recency requirement regarding coursework, as it may deter talented teachers from applying for certification.
Further, the state's human relations and South Dakota Indian Studies coursework requirements are reasonable, but South Dakota should offer out-of-state teachers a test-out option.
Accord the same license to out-of-state alternate route teachers as would be accorded to traditionally prepared teachers.
Regardless of whether a teacher was prepared through a traditional or alternate route, all certified out-of-state teachers should receive equal treatment. South Dakota 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 Dakota.
South Dakota recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.