COVID's Under-the-Radar Experiment with Teacher Licensure
The decision to close schools in March 2020 was a massive disruption to public education. But pandemic-related closures did more than put in-person instruction on hold. School closures also meant that teacher candidates could not complete their student teaching experiences (Choate et al., 2021). And when licensure test centers closed, prospective teachers could not sit for the exams they needed to get credentialed. As COVID wreaked havoc on the school system—and worries over staffing shortages grew—most states responded to these disruptions by modifying and relaxing their requirements for becoming a teacher during the pandemic.
Three years later, the negative consequences of school closures for students are well known: learning declined and pre-existing inequities grew (Goldhaber et al., 2022). But how (if at all) changes to licensure requirements affected teachers and students is less clear. To provide an initial picture of what happened, this research brief describes the nature of pandemic-era licensure modifications, how many teachers they might have affected, and why we should care. Our rough estimate suggests that around 100,000 graduates of traditional preparation programs might have entered the profession under changed licensure rules in 2020-2021.
Citation: Michael DeArmond, Dan Goldhaber, Sydney Payne (2023). COVID's Under-the-Radar Experiment with Teacher Licensure. CALDER Policy Brief No. 33
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