Politics & Government

NC will make it easier to hire out-of-state teachers

Teachers can bring value to the classroom with or without licenses

Kenny Felder, a teacher at Raleigh Charter High School, used to be a computer programmer. “People are bringing into this their real-world experiences," said Felder, which may be just as valuable as obtaining teaching certifications.
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Kenny Felder, a teacher at Raleigh Charter High School, used to be a computer programmer. “People are bringing into this their real-world experiences," said Felder, which may be just as valuable as obtaining teaching certifications.

After months of debate, the State Board of Education agreed Thursday to rules changes that will make it easier for out-of-state teachers to get a North Carolina teaching license.

The state board approved a recommendation from an advisory committee to grant teaching licenses to out-of-state teachers who have high scores on their state’s licensure exam. The state board had rejected an earlier recommendation to accept any passing score after expressing concern that the proposal could result in teachers being hired from states with lower standards than North Carolina.

“I think the discussion, even (though) it created some angst and I had a few sleepless nights, but I think in the end it’s been good,” state board member Olivia Oxendine said Wednesday during the discussion of the new recommendation. “It’s been a good discussion, because I’ve learned a lot more about teacher licensure.”

Superintendents and principals across the state have been asking for the rules to be made easier to hire out-of-state teachers. They say that the requirement that these already licensed teachers have to pass North Carolina’s tests to teach in the state is discouraging some educators to relocate here.

Multiple bills have been filed this session in the General Assembly to ease the requirements for out-of-state teachers.

The state Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission recommended that the state accept the licensure exams taken by out-of-state teachers, granting a license if they passed.

But some state board members have expressed worry that the PEPSC proposal would provide a way for teachers who couldn’t meet state standards to be hired.

Under the new recommendation from PEPSC, out-of-state teachers would need to show that their score on their licensure exam met or exceeded the recommended passing score from the test developer.

Also on Thursday, the state board voted to eliminate the N.C. Final Exams for science in fourth grade and for social studies in fourth and fifth grades. The vote comes as state lawmakers are considering ways to reduce the amount of standardized testing.

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