Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should offer a license with minimal requirements that allows content experts to teach part time.
Texas offers the Texas School District Teaching Permit, which allows individuals with deep subject-area knowledge to teach a limited number of courses without fulfilling a complete set of certification requirements.
Applicants for the Texas School District Teaching permit must have at least a bachelor's degree with relevant college coursework of at least 18 hours for elementary and middle school and 24 hours for high school. Candidates must also have relevant work experience. A subject test is not required.
Require applicants to pass a subject-matter test.
Texas 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 individuals who have significant content knowledge to teach, Texas should still require a subject-matter test. While the state does require verification, only a subject-matter test ensures that teachers on the School District Teaching Permit know the specific content they will need to teach.
Texas was helpful in providing the facts necessary for this analysis. The state added that it also offers waivers that allow individuals with subject knowledge to teach in public schools without fulfilling traditional certification requirements.