2017 General Teacher Prep Programs Policy
The state should close loopholes that allow teachers who have not met licensure requirements to continue teaching. This goal was consistent between 2015 and 2017.
Emergency License(s) Availability: Nevada does not permit provisional licenses to be issued to teachers who apply for the following certificates: elementary license; special teaching license in music, art or special education; or secondary license in art, biological science, chemistry, English, French, general science, history, mathematics, music, physical science, reading, social studies, Spanish, speech and drama.
However, if a local district determines there is a shortage area, they can submit a request to the superintendent of public instruction to hire licensed teachers to teach in the shortage area. The request allows licensed teachers to teach outside of their endorsement areas to fill the shortage area for up to three years.
NAC 391.056 NRS 391.125 Section 20 and 28 of Assembly Bill 77 https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/79th2017/Bills/AB/AB77_EN.pdf
Ensure that all teachers—including teachers filling shortage areas—meet subject-matter licensing standards.
Allowing licensed teachers who have not passed licensure tests in the shortage area in which they are teaching to remain in the classroom for up to three years neglects the needs of students. Having fully licensed teachers teach in shortage areas only minimizes the risks inherent in having teachers in classrooms who lack appropriate subject-matter knowledge. Nevada could strengthen its policy by requiring all teachers to meet the subject-matter test requirements of the shortage area within one year, or limit the ability of a teacher to teach out-of-field to one year.
Nevada was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts necessary for this analysis. The state also indicated that new legislation allows out-of-state teachers "...who obtain a reciprocal license pursuant to NRS 391.032 are not required to take the examinations for the initial licensing of teachers and other educational personnel . . . or any other examination for initial licensing required by the regulations adopted by the Commission." Therefore, Nevada stated, those transferring from other states with current, valid licenses earned via traditional or alternate route preparation programs are no longer required to demonstrate coursework completion via transcript analysis or pass the basic competency exams in reading, writing, and mathematics; principles and methods of teaching; or subject matter endorsement, which results in true reciprocity.
In addition, the state noted that new legislation allows for districts to submit a request to the Superintendent (with a subsequent report to the Commission and State Board) that they may employ teachers in shortage areas for up to three years. However, in accordance with Nevada's federal ESSA Plan and Educator Equity Report, these teachers will be publicly reported in the aggregate by district and school via the Personnel tab of the annual Nevada Report Card as not-fully-state-certified.
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.