2017 General Teacher Prep Programs Policy
The state should help to make licenses fully portable among states for effective teachers, with appropriate safeguards. The bar for this goal was raised in 2017.
Eligibility for Standard License: Idaho allows out-of-state teachers to apply for its interim professional certificate in order to complete coursework and/or testing requirements. If all requirements are met, out-of-state teachers are issued a standard certificate.
Evidence of Effectiveness: To qualify for the professional license, Idaho requires teachers to meet measurable student achievement criteria while teaching at least one year in Idaho. According to Idaho's rules, "teachers may provide evidence based on experience outside of the state of Idaho if proficiency and measurable student achievement is comparable to Idaho requirements." Measurable student achievement must include at least one assessment demonstrating student achievement and growth.
Testing Requirement: Idaho allows a testing waiver for candidates who submit passing scores from other states. Content test requirements may also be waived if the out-of-state candidate can provide verification of a content mastery through a master's degree in the specific content-area or verification of a National Board certificate in the specific content-area. Idaho also gives a three-year emergency license to out-of-state teachers if they haven't passed licensure tests.
Additional Requirements: Idaho requires teachers to complete the state's mathematics instruction and comprehensive literacy courses, and they are reviewed for technology deficiencies and may be required to take technology courses to improve their skills. Idaho also requires a criminal-history background check.
Idaho Administrative Code 08.02.02.015, -016, -.017 Requirements for Out-of-State Applicants: http://www.sde.idaho.gov/cert-psc/cert/apply/out-of-state.html
To uphold standards, require that teachers coming from other states meet testing requirements.
Idaho should insist that out-of-state teachers meet its own testing requirements, and it should not waive its teacher testing requirements unless an applicant can provide evidence of a passing score that meets its own standards. This is especially important when it comes to out-of-state teachers who have passed content tests that do not rise to the level of Idaho's standard, such as an elementary content test that requires a passing score on each content core subject. (See "Elementary Content Knowledge" analysis and recommendations.)
Offer a standard license to certified out-of-state teachers, absent unnecessary requirements.
While Idaho's literacy requirement is reasonable, the state should take steps to ensure that the coursework focuses on the science of reading instruction, and that it inserts flexibility into its policy by allowing a test-out option. Idaho should also consider a test-out option for any additional coursework requirement in math and technology.
Ensure that measurement of student achievement is meaningful.
Idaho is encouraged to strengthen its effectiveness policy and lengthen that collection period to ensure that these data are meaningful.
Idaho was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis.
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. New evaluation systems coming on line across the country 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.