The state should maintain requirements that make teaching licenses held by effective teachers fully portable across state lines, with appropriate safeguards. This goal has been revised since 2017.
Eligibility for Standard License: Wisconsin allows teachers with valid out-of-state certificates to be eligible for comparable licensure. Those with fewer than five years of experience are eligible for the provisional educator license; those with five or more years may apply for the lifetime license.
Evidence of Effectiveness: Wisconsin does not require evidence of effective teaching during previous employment in its reciprocity policy.
Testing Requirement: Wisconsin requires all out-of-state teachers to meet the state's passing scores on licensing tests, including its Foundations of Reading test for applicable candidates. A content test taken for initial licensure in another state may be used in place of Wisconsin's assessment. However, the state offers a testing waiver in that an applicant who did not have to pass a content test as a condition of initial licensure may submit a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the subject area.
Additional Requirements: Wisconsin's recency requirement calls for either five years of experience just prior to application or six credits from a regionally accredited college or university.
Wisconsin specifically does not allow those prepared through an alternate route to apply as out-of-state applicants. These candidates must instead apply through the License Based on Equivalency Pathway, which relies on three years of teaching experience and a performance-based assessment process to determine competency.
Background Checks: Wisconsin requires a full criminal-history background check.
Wisconsin Administrative Code PI 34.17, -.18 Out-of-State Applicants https://dpi.wi.gov/tepdl/pathways/oos/applicants Out-of-State Testing Information https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/tepdl/pdf/OOSTestingInformation.pdf
Require evidence of effective teaching when determining eligibility for full certification.
To facilitate the movement of effective teachers between states, Wisconsin should require that evidence of teacher effectiveness, as determined by an evaluation that includes objective measures of student growth, be considered for all out-of-state candidates.
To uphold standards, require that teachers transferring from other states meet testing requirements.
Wisconsin should insist that out-of-state teachers meet its own testing requirements or provide evidence of a passing score on an applicable content test from the originating state.
Offer a standard license to certified out-of-state teachers, absent unnecessary requirements.
Wisconsin should reconsider its recency requirement regarding experience, as it may deter talented teachers from applying for certification. In addition, 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 Wisconsin.
Wisconsin was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis. The state added that statute requires a three-year provisional license to be issued to a teacher who holds a valid license in another state and has one year of experience in that state without having to pass any tests, including the Foundations of Reading Test. This also applies to alternate route teachers. LBE is one pathway for teachers who completed an alternate route in another state.
6A: Requirements for Out-of-State Teachers
Evidence of effectiveness is far more important than transcript review. In an attempt to ensure that teachers have the appropriate professional and subject-matter knowledge base when granting certification, states often review a teacher's college transcript, no matter how many years earlier a bachelor's degree was earned. A state certification specialist reviews the college transcript, looking for course titles that appear to match state requirements. If the right matches are not found, a teacher may be required to complete additional coursework before receiving standard licensure. This practice holds true even for experienced teachers who are trying to transfer from another state, regardless of their prior success. The application of these often complex state rules results in unnecessary obstacles to hiring talented and experienced teachers. Evaluation systems which prioritize effectiveness and evidence of student learning offer an opportunity to bypass counterproductive efforts like transcript review and get to the heart of the matter: is the out-of-state teacher seeking licensure in a new state an effective teacher?
Testing requirements should be upheld, not waived. While some states have historically imposed burdensome coursework requirements, many have simultaneously failed to impose minimum standards for licensure testing. Instead, some states have offered waivers to veteran teachers transferring from other states, thereby failing to impose minimal standards of professional and subject-matter knowledge. In upholding licensure standards for out-of-state teachers, the state should be flexible in its processes but vigilant in its verification of adequate knowledge. It is all too common for states to develop policies and practices that reverse these priorities, focusing diligently on comparison of transcripts to state documents while demonstrating little oversight of teachers' knowledge. If a state can verify that a teacher has taught successfully and has the required subject-matter and professional knowledge, its only concern should be ensuring that the teacher is familiar with the state's student learning standards.
States licensing out-of-state teachers should not differentiate between experienced teachers prepared in alternate routes and those prepared in traditional programs. It is understandable that states are wary of accepting alternate route teachers from other states, since programs vary widely in quality. However, the same variance in quality can be found in traditional programs. If a teacher comes from another state with a standard license and a clean criminal record, has demonstrated evidence of effectiveness, and can pass the state's licensure tests, whether the preparation was traditional or alternative should be irrelevant.