2017 General Teacher Prep Programs Policy
The state should ensure that substitute teachers are appropriately placed and assessed in the classroom. This goal was new in 2017 and was not graded.
Substitute License(s): Substitute teachers in North Dakota must hold a current regular or restricted teaching certificate. The state also offers an interim substitute license to persons with at least 48 semester hours of college coursework.
Length of Assignment: A substitute teacher with a regular license may substitute in any area requiring regular elementary or secondary licensure, while the individual with a restricted license may only substitute in an area of restriction. North Dakota does not specify the number of consecutive days a substitute with a regular or restricted license can teach in the same subject. Interim substitutes who do not have at least a bachelor's degree, can teach for no more than 10 consecutive days in the same classroom.
Evaluation of Long-Term Substitutes: North Dakota has no requirements for any of its substitute teachers, and it is not clear whether substitutes who hold current teaching licenses are subject to evaluation under the state's evaluation requirements.
North Dakota Administrative Code 67.1-02-02-10 and 67.1-02-04-02
Require long-term substitute teachers to be evaluated.
North Dakota should maintain standards for substitute teacher quality and accountability for all substitutes, but especially for long-term substitutes who are expected to stand in for licensed teachers for extended periods of time. North Dakota can help ensure that substitute teachers are held to high standards and have access to the supports necessary to improve their practice by requiring evaluations— which it may find appropriate to modify from its standard, state-required teacher evaluations— of long-term substitutes.
North Dakota recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
Research finds that teacher absences negatively affect student achievement and growth. While some of this is attributable to the disruption of regular classroom practices and instruction, it may also be attributable to substitute teacher quality. The gap in instructional quality and daily productivity when a regular teacher is replaced by a substitute teacher is significant. However, absences covered by substitutes licensed by the state are not as detrimental to student achievement as those covered by non-licensed substitutes. Some research hypothesizes that the low-skill level and mobility of substitute teachers may contribute to the reduction in instructional focus and quality and that even when substitute teachers are good instructors, they may be unable to effectively implement a teacher of record's long-term instructional strategies. Parents, teachers, principals, and students have concerns about substitute teachers' quality and qualifications. States should maintain rigorous standards for substitute teacher quality and accountability for all substitutes, but especially for long-term substitutes who are expected to stand in for teachers for long stretches of time.