The state should close loopholes that allow teachers who have not met licensure requirements to continue teaching. This goal was reorganized in 2021.
Emergency License(s) Availability: South Dakota does not offer an emergency license.
It is worth noting that, in general, South Dakota does not require passage of content tests as a condition of initial licensure for its middle and secondary teachers. Passage of content tests are one option for candidates to demonstrate content knowledge. For analysis of South Dakota's middle and secondary content test requirements see Middle School Content Knowledge and Secondary Content Knowledge.
COVID-19 State Policy: South Dakota has implemented the following changes to its rules regarding Provisional and Emergency Licensure. The state will issue a one-year conditional certificate to educator preparation candidates who are unable to complete student teaching requirements, or pedagogy or content test requirements. The certificate is valid until June 30, 2021. 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.
COVID-19 Information: https://doe.sd.gov/certification/documents/COVID-Guidance.pdf
Ensure that all teachers pass required subject-matter licensing tests before they enter the classroom.
While South Dakota is commended for not allowing teachers in the classroom on an emergency license, the state's initial middle and secondary licenses are problematic in that teachers may potentially teach without having passed a content test. The state should require all teachers to meet subject-matter licensure requirements prior to entering the classroom regardless of whether or not they possess a content area major.
South Dakota 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.