Will Change to Licensing Improve Teacher Recruitment?

Will a recent change in licensing requirements prompt more out-of-state teachers to take up teaching in Kansas? Perhaps at the margins. The Dodge City Globe looks locally for an answer.

It sets up the story: “The Kansas Board of Education voted 9-1 this month to remove grade point average restrictions for teachers coming to Kansas from other states or countries. Although the teachers will still have to pass exams in their subject, they will no longer be required to have the 2.5 GPA that was previously asked of them.”

It asks Joni Clark, HR director of USD 443, about the changes. Her reply: ‘”I appreciate that the state of Kansas, under the leadership of Mr. Dennis, has taken a proactive approach to teacher licensure in the state of Kansas.  Some of the things will certainly help in getting teachers into the transition to teaching program.”

But the GPA requirement has not been a significant hurdle, she says.

” One of the biggest problems Clark said she faced when visiting career fairs in other states is that out-of-state teachers who have already passed licensure and content exams in their own states are disinclined to retake the same test simply because they want to teach in another state.

“(The tests are) the same, but because they have the word ‘Michigan’ on them, they’re not accepted in any other state in the Union,” said Clark, giving an example. “So they’d have to turn around and take the exact same test again.”

Clark calls for a national test. We’re not terribly excited about the idea. Before we go down that road, how about making the teaching profession a profession? Pay people for performance, not simply according to the union contract of time in service plus university credits earned.
Teacher recruitment: Will it be easier?, Dodge City Globe,  July 2

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