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: California allows individuals who have not yet met internship program subject-matter competency requirements to teach on either a Provisional Internship Permit (PIP) or a Short-Term Staff Permit (STSP). The PIP and STSP are only available at the request of an employment agency to fill an immediate staffing need.
Emergency License Validity Period: To teach under a PIP, candidates must take all prerequisite exams in their first year of teaching. If a candidate does not pass these exams, he or she has one additional year to pass them. To continue to teach, the employing agency will "assist the permit holder in meeting subject matter competence related to the permit." California no longer reissues a PIP in specialized science content areas. The STSP expires at the end of the employing agency's school year and cannot be issued for more than one year. It is not renewable and is available to an individual only once in a lifetime.
State of California Provisional Internship Permit http://www.ctc.ca.gov/credentials/leaflets/cl856.pdf California Code of Regulations, Section 80021.1 State of California Short-Term Staff Permit http://www.ctc.ca.gov/credentials/leaflets/cl858.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. California 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. However, California's current policy puts students at risk by allowing the PIP to be renewed for an additional year if teachers take but do not pass licensing tests during the first year.
California declined to respond to NCTQ's analyses.
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.