Title: Workforce watch
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090862/00015
 Material Information
Title: Workforce watch
Series Title: Workforce watch
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Center on Personnel Studies in Special Education, College of Education, University of Florida
Publisher: Center on Personnel Studies in Special Education, College of Education, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: February 2004
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090862
Volume ID: VID00015
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Getting Teachers Where They

Are Needed Most

Can License Reciprocity Facilitate Mobility?

A although schools have suffered short-
ages of special education teach-
ers for decades, shortages vary across
states. State policies designed to pro-
mote the movement of teachers from
areas of surplus to areas of need have
been offered as solutions for meeting
unmet demands. License reciprocity-a
policy through which states deem teach-
ers fully qualified on the basis of a li-
cense earned in another state-is one
such strategy.
Although even the best existing reciproc-
ity agreements entail completing ad-
ditional requirements, national and re-
gional models provide states with a way
to recognize qualified teachers from oth-
er states. Common examples include:
* NASDTEC Interstate Contract. The
National Association of State Direc-
tors of Teacher Education and Cer-
tification (NASDTEC) oversees the
contract that guarantees that current
member states-48 states and juris-
dictions-will accept another member
state's teacher preparation programs
and licensure process to the degree
that they are comparable with their
own standards.
* Regional reciprocity agreements
between states. The primary ben-

efits of regional agreements-such
as the Northeast Regional Creden-
tial and the Central States Teacher
Exchange Agreement-include their
greater specificity and agreement on
complex aspects of licensure, such
as special education, and their po-
tential to set uniform standards for
teacher preparation.
License reciprocity has many advantages,
the most significant being its usefulness in
assisting states with their primary goal of
ensuring that special education teach-
ers moving into their state meet minimal
qualifications and standards. Reciprocity
agreements also benefit teachers by pro-
viding ready access to professional cre-
dentials in other states that share com-
mon views on teaching standards and
teacher preparation. In so doing, such
agreements also enhance teaching as a
But, do licensing reciprocity agree-
ments also facilitate interstate mobility
and thereby reduce shortages? What
do states need to consider when us-
ing license reciprocity agreements to
meet special education teacher short-
ages? Read on to gain insights from
the research.

Can license reciprocity
agreements alleviate short-
ages of special education
teachers? What state policy-
makers should consider.




Alleviating Special
Education Teacher
Shortages-Have You
Considered Why License
Reciprocity Agreements
May Have Limited

The logic underlying license reci-
procity as a solution to special
education teacher shortages de-
rives from the assumptions that
pools of unemployed, fully cre-
dentialed teachers exist and that
those teachers would be willing
to relocate to other states if only
they had license portability. Let's
examine this assumption.

Although shortages are unevenly
distributed, both across and
within states, most states report
persistent and significant shortages
of qualified special education
teachers. Thus, teacher movement
from state to state would merely
shift the shortage burden from one
jurisdiction to another.

Reciprocity agreements also are
based on the assumption that
there is a large pool of qualified
teachers who have either moved
or could be enticed to move if
reciprocity agreements were more
favorable. Yet, the facts show that
the number of teachers who have

moved and v

Licensure reci-
procity is particu-
larly problematic
for special edu-
cation, as there
tends to be a lack
of state-to-state
consistency in
how licenses are
differentiated by
disability catego-
ries, severity, and/
or age levels.

vho are unable to
obtain full certi-
fication in their
new home state
is small. Ten per-
cent of teachers
have relocated
from another
state to assume
their current po-
sitions, but only
1.08 percent are
not fully certi-
fied. This sug-
gests that most
teachers have

little trouble getting certified in
their new home states. Thus, the
best current estimate of the pro-
portion of the special education
workforce that might benefit from
an improved reciprocity policy is a
little more than one percent.

State-to-state mobility has limited
potential for eliminating shortages.
Areas of need may be better de-
fined within individual states, rath-
er than between states.

Have You Considered
Shortages Within States as
a Target for Intervention?
Most states report varied short-
ages within their boundaries.
Certain schools are advantaged
when it comes to hiring and re-
taining teachers. For example,
shortages tend to be more severe
in large urban areas and in rural
areas, while suburbs often enjoy
a surplus of qualified applicants.
Consider these facts:

* Wealthy districts rarely experi-
ence shortages, whereas low-
income districts do. Wealthy
districts get more applicants.

* High-poverty districts may lack
the resources to attract and re-
tain highly qualified teachers.

* Teachers prefer to teach close
to home. Since the teaching
workforce is primarily middle
class, home for most teachers
is the suburbs or small towns.

* Reserve pool teachers-indi-
viduals who are qualified to
teach but who are not current-
ly teaching-tend not to return
to large, urban schools when
reentering the workforce.

* Teachers tend to move away
from low-income schools.
When economic consider-
ations affect teacher reloca-

tion, the deciding factor is
more likely to be a school's
socio-economic status than a
teacher's salary.

These considerations raise the
question of whether areas of need
may be better defined by school
district socio-economic status
than by state lines. Thus, provid-
ing incentives for teachers to work
in urban and rural schools may
be an additional tool for allevi-
ating special education teacher

For More Information

Information reported in this brief
was based on the COPSSE re-
search synthesis, Getting Teach-
ers Where They're Needed
Most: The Case for Licensure
Reciprocity, by Paul T. Sindelar,
Anne G. Bishop,Michele Gregoire-
Gill,Vincent Connelly, and Michael
S. Rosenberg. This document can
be found on the COPSSE web site
at www.copsse.org.

The Center on Personnel Studies in Spe-
cial Education is funded by the Office of
Special Education Programs of the U.S.
Department of Education [cooperative
agreement #H325Q000002]. COPSSE
research is designed to inform scholars
and policymakers about beginning teach-
er quality, effective initial preparation, and
the effects of preparation alternatives. The
Center is directed by Drs. Paul Sindelar
and Mary Brownell. The policy briefs were
produced by Warger, Eavy & Associates.
University of Florida, 300 Norman Hall,
PO. Box 117050, Gainesville, FL 32611
352-392-0701 (X283), www.copsse.org

Opinionsexpressed here
do not necessarily reflect the
7 views of the US Department
I, of Education

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