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It's Now Easier to Get Your Ohio Teaching License (As Long As You're Not From One of These Five States)

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Monday, May 20, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Aaron Knox / Flickr

It's now easier for teachers coming from out-of-state to come work in Ohio - as long as they've been teaching for the last five years consecutively and are not coming from Alaska, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota or Wyoming.

At its meeting this month, the State Board of Education voted on a policy that streamlines the teacher licensure process for most out-of-state teachers.

Teachers who have been in the classroom for less than five consecutive years will have to go through a review process, as will anyone coming from the five states where teacher licensure requirements have been deemed inadequate.

But teachers coming from the rest of the country who have more than five years of teaching experience will no longer have to go through that review process for a new five-year professional license.

"You kind of just figure they know what they're doing by the time," says board member Tom Gunlock.

Gunlock says the policy will "enable them to hit the ground running and get a license right away in Ohio without having to meet any additional Ohio-specific licensure requirements."

The requirement to come up with a list of states Ohio considers to have "standards for teacher licensure that are inadequate" was mandated in House Bill 153, the last biennial budget.

"If you come from one of the states on the list you’re going to have to go through a more stringent process," compared to teachers coming from a state not on the list, says Ohio Department of Education spokesman John Charlton.

In an email, Gunlock wrote that's it's "not a rule but it is more of a policy."

"It does NOT mean we will "not accept" licensure from the 5 states on the list (Alaska, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming).  We WILL still accept licensure from those states it is just that we would be taking a closer look at those teachers qualifications (in terms of their coursework, licensure testing etc) than we would be with those who are coming from states not on the list."

Those teachers will still have to undergo a review process that looks at their coursework and experience to determine if they meet Ohio's teacher licensure requirements.

According to the Ohio Department of Education, over the last three years an average of 36 percent of the requests for teacher licensure came from out-of-state applicants.

The department doesn't track which states all those requests came from.

"If you’re not qualified, you’re not qualified," the Ohio Department of Education's John Charlton says. "It doesn’t matter where you come from."

The State Board of Education voted on the measure after a panel of education officials from Battelle for Kids, the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium and the Ohio Education Service Center Association reviewed the teacher licensure standards for every state besides Ohio. The panel used criteria including whether states require student teachers to participate in some sort of mentoring program, whether students have to pass a "test of pedagogical knowledge," and other factors.

You can read more about the process for determining which five states Ohio won't automatically accept teacher licensure from here.

And you can read the full policy adopted by the Board here.


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