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: Wisconsin's Tier I, renewable license with stipulations amounts to an emergency or provisional license depending on the applicant. An applicant who has a bachelor's degree but has not met all licensure requirements under Tier II, III, or IV can be issued a Tier I license if they: completed all educator preparation program coursework or have a request from the hiring district demonstrating need.
Wisconsin also allows currently licensed teachers to teach out-of-field on a Tier I, three-year district-sponsored license with stipulations. The applicant is required to have at least one year of full-time teaching experience on a Tier II, III, or IV license.
Emergency License Validity Period: Wisconsin's Tier I renewable license with stipulations is valid for one year and is renewable. Renewal is granted if the holder is enrolled in a preparation program and has completed at least six semester credits, or has completed all program coursework and has attempted all required licensure tests. If a Tier I license holder meets neither of these criteria, the license may still be renewed if the hiring district "demonstrates, by clear and convincing evidence, that the license holder will complete all of the licensure requirements." Special education teachers may renew a Tier I renewable license with stipulations twice. There are unlimited renewals for all other endorsement areas as long as progress towards full licensure is made.
The Tier I, three-year district-sponsored license with stipulations is valid for three years and may not be renewed.
It is worth noting that, in general, Wisconsin does not require passage of content tests as a condition of initial licensure. Passage of a content test is one option for candidates to demonstrate content knowledge.
COVID-19 State Policy: Wisconsin has not implemented any changes to its rules regarding Provisional and Emergency Licensure. 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.
Wisconsin Administrative Code PI 34.028; .29 Emergency Educator Licenses and Permits http://legis.wisconsin.gov/rsb/code/pi/pi034.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. Wisconsin 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. Wisconsin's current policy puts students at risk by allowing teachers to teach on a Tier I license with unlimited renewals without passing required subject-matter tests.
Wisconsin recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
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.