Data, research and common sense tell us that teachers are a key ingredient to school success. That’s why we are coming together to ensure that all well-trained, qualified and passionate teachers have a pathway to teach in Minnesota.
Administrators across our state should have the flexibility to recruit and hire educators that best meet the unique needs of their schools and students. Teachers who are licensed in other states and have the skills and commitment to lead students to academic achievement should be allowed to bring their talents to our classrooms.
Unfortunately, current laws and regulations enact barriers that artificially constrict our state’s pipeline of diverse and talented teachers.
Minnesota makes it incredibly challenging for experienced teachers to move to the state, even when local schools identify them as the best candidate. From urban districts to communities in Greater Minnesota, we hear stories of schools facing shortages of qualified teacher applicants, but due to antiquated policies qualified and eager out-of-state candidates are turned away.
In 2011, legislation was passed which required the Board of Teaching (BoT) to streamline the process for licensing out-of-state teachers and recognize a teacher’s past classroom performance. Nearly four years later, the BoT has yet to take sufficient action. Experienced educators from around the country continue to face a lengthy, expensive and at times incomprehensible path to their Minnesota teaching license. Meanwhile, the schools attempting to hire them are left in limbo.
The BoT and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) have denied, delayed or otherwise encumbered many applicants without providing concrete guidance or clear next steps, short of recommending that experienced educators enroll in an often redundant Minnesota teacher preparation program.
The stories we’ve heard are confounding:
•A math teacher with ten years of classroom teaching in Pennsylvania, New York and Texas was told she needed to spend thousands of dollars on additional teacher preparation coursework in order to be licensed in Minnesota.•An elementary teacher with a master’s degree in education and four years of professional teaching experience in Missouri was told she needed more than 30 additional credits and to student teach in a Minnesota classroom in order to receive her license.•Two teachers who began teaching more than a decade ago participated in the same California graduate teacher preparation program, received master's degrees in Education and the same California teaching licenses. Both applied for the same licenses in Minnesota, but the teacher with more experience was not granted one of the licenses the other received.
We should be actively recruiting experienced, talented and motivated educators, not turning them away.
Furthermore, creating a clear pathway for out-of-state teachers is a critical step to increase Minnesota’s teacher diversity. Currently, 96 percent of our state’s teachers are white. Allowing school administrators to recruit talent from other states will open the door to teachers of color from historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutes, and alternative certification programs with proven track records of success.
We ask the BoT, MDE and our elected officials to take leadership on this issue by:
•Establishing streamlined procedures and pathways for granting full Minnesota teaching licenses to teacher candidates initially licensed in other states;•Creating transparent and straightforward guidelines and requirements for Minnesota licensure;•Creating transparent and straightforward guidelines for approval of non-licensed community experts;•Recognizing previous classroom experience and professional credentials when making licensure decisions;•Issuing full Minnesota teaching licenses to candidates who satisfy the requirements of Minn. Stat. § 122A.23, Subd. 2; and,•Providing clear explanations to applicants who are denied, including details on additional criteria needed and the right to appeal BoT decisions.
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Community Partners:Minnesota Rural Education Association, St. CloudGary Amoroso, Minnesota Association of School Administrators, St. PaulBrandon Baker, Milaca Public Schools (Board of Education-Director), MilacaNicholas Banovetz, Education Transformation Initiative, St. PaulJim Bartholomew, Minnesota Business Partnership, MinneapolisLaura Brod, MinnCAN (Board member), New PragueVictor Cedeno, Generation Next, MinneapolisJo Ann Clark, Progressive Baptist Church, St. PaulJoshua Crosson, MinnCAN, MinneapolisDenise Dittrich, Minnesota School Boards Association, ChamplinMadaline Edison, Educators 4 Excellence, MinneapolisKim Erickson, Cambridge State Bank, CambridgeAl Fan, Charter School Partners, MinneapolisBeth Finch, KIPP Minnesota (Board Chair), MinneapolisJeffrey Hassan, African American Leadership Forum, Brooklyn ParkAmy Hertel, Education Transformation Initiative, MinneapolisAnil Hurkadli, Teach For America--Twin Cities, MinneapolisAnn Johnson, Minneapolis Public Schools, MinneapolisCurtis Johnson, Education Evolving, St. PaulRobbin Johnson, Parent Aware for School Readiness, WayzataHolly Kragthorpe, Educators 4 Excellence, MinneapolisMegan McAllister, Northeast Metro ISD 916, MinneapolisLynnell Mickelsen, Put Kids First Minneapolis, Minneapolis Annette Miller, Tracy Public Schools, Balaton Shannon Mitchell, Educators 4 Excellence, MinneapolisGinny Morris, Hubbard Radio, St. PaulDr. Mary Ann Nelson, Minnesota Department of Education (Former MN Education Asst Commissioner), MinneapolisMax Page, State of Minnesota--Judicial Branch, BrainerdTiffany Paulson, Rainbow Health Initiative, MinneapolisMitch Pearlstein, Center of the American Experiment, Golden Valley Sara Pimental, Cru Inner City, St. PaulEthan Roberts, Jewish Community Relations Council, PlymouthAlice Seagren, (Former Commissioner of Education and Former Legislator), BloomingtonDaniel Sellers, MinnCAN, MinneapolisJoe Steck, Mankato Times, Eagle LakeBrian Sweeney, Charter School Partners, MinneapolisMary Sue, Weir, Watershed High School (Board Member), MinneapolisBarbara Tribble, University of St Thomas, Zimmerman
Foundations:Rob Albright, Albright Foundation, EdinaLesley Crosby, The Carolyn Foundation, MinneapolisRebecca Erdahl, Carolyn Foundation, MinneapolisJim Frey, Frey Foundation, EdinaJo Ann Gruesner, Frey Foundation, PlymouthAnn Mulholland, The Saint Paul Foundation, St. Paul Colleen OKeefe, Sauer Children's Renew Foundation, North St. PaulTim Penny, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, OwatonnaMargaret Soran, Soran Foundation, EdinaTeri Steckelberg, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, OwatonnaSandra Vargas, The Minneapolis Foundation, MinneapolisCarol Wolfe, Frey Foundation, Edina
Individuals:Amber Adrian, ChamplinIris Altamirano, MinneapolisRick Anderson, ElyKristin Armbruster, MinneapolisMatthew Arnold, MinneapolisTraci Auger, MinneapolisKarissa Baker, St. PaulPatricia Barnum, West St. PaulCarla Bates, MinneapolisBen Bauer, St. PaulRobert Bernas, MinneapolisJacqueline Beutell, Eden PrairieDavid Bock, BrainerdSusan Bohannon, Mendota HeightsAbbie Bollman, MinneapolisDavid Bowman, St. Louis ParkJessica Breed, EaganKeith Brooks, St. PaulLee Brucker, MinneapolisBrent Brunetta, Grand RapidsLou Burdick, MinneapolisStephanie Burke-Liggett, St. Louis ParkBob Butterbrodt, St. PaulKathleen Butts, MinneapolisMary Byrne, MarshallRosann Cahill, St. PaulKimberly Caprini, MinneapolisAlex Cassanova, New York, NYElizabeth Chacich, CloquetJulie Christensen, Savage Alex Cirillo, WoodburyBetsy Clarke, MinneapolisMark Conway, MinneapolisLinda Crumpton, CloquetDavia Curran, White Bear LakeBarbara Dalton, KimballMegan David, St. PaulBen Davis, SartellDon Davison, Grand MaraisTheresa del Rosario, St. PaulPamela DeWolf, Red WingTerry Donovan, PlymouthAnna Dornbusch, St. PaulEric Eagon, MinneapolisFritz Ehlers, MinneapolisCarol Erdahl, RosevilleJessica Espinosa, MaplewoodJames Field, MinnetonkaLynn Foster, St. Louis ParkPaula Fox, Golden ValleyDawn Fuglestad, MinneapolisLaRae Fultz, MinneapolisMeg Gehlen Nodzon, St. PaulAlison Giovanelli, MinneapolisAmber Godden, DuluthRachel Grantz, EaganBill Graves, MinneapolisHadiya Green, RochesterClaire Gussel, St. PaulOwen Gustafson, RockfordDana Hanson, MinneapolisChristine Harshman, Forest LakeDavid Hartwell, MinneapolisLucy Hartwell, WayzataKaren Hatlestad, MaplewoodJane Hendrickson, EdinaElizabeth Heyer, PlymouthJim Hield, EdinaRita Hillmann Olson, New PragueNatalie Hodapp, MankatoDon Hon, MinneapolisJoseph Honeck, St. PaulJohn Hupp, MinneapolisErin Hupp, MinneapolisMitra Jalali Nelson, MinneapolisLaura James, BurnsvilleKelly Jense, St. Peter High School (School Social Worker), Mankato Jody Johnson, DuluthKamren Johnson, Santa Cruz, CAKelly Kausel, Apple ValleyPeg Kavaney, MinneapolisCheryl Kenney, St. PaulMartin Kiener, Eden PrairieSam Kiener, MinneapolisKaren Klinzing, StillwaterMax Korn, MinneapolisDenise Koster, RochesterCandace Kragthorpe, ShakopeeDavid Kragthorpe, ShakopeeLiz Kragthorpe, SavageRobin Krause, MinneapolisBenjamin Krohling, MinneapolisTimothy Kubicek, ShakopeeHarmony Kuller, MinneapolisMadelyn Labella, MinneapolisYvonne Lerew, St. PaulRobin Lindberg, PlymouthPa Na Lor, Vadnais HeightsSam MacDonald, MinneapolisKim Mackenthun, WaconiaBenjamin MacKenzie, St. PaulGilda Mansour, San Francisco, CALeah Matheson, MinneapolisAlexandra Matyja, Prior LakePeter McDonald, MinnetonkaMike McFadden, Sunfish LakeCarey McKeon-Pearson, EdinaAlfred McNicoll, EaganKyle Meerkins, MinneapolisShari Mensink, OwatonnaCindy Moeller, West St. PaulJoe Mosher, MinneapolisBernard Mullen, MinneapolisMarijo Nabben, Thief River FallsMike Nelson, RochesterLibby Nickel Baker, MilacaKeri O'Keefe, MinneapolisJosh Ondich, Prior LakeRachel Ose, St. PaulLaura Pastor, MinneapolisRyan Pedersen, VictoriaHilde Perala, HermantownJody Peterman, San Gregorio, CABethany Peterson, RosevilleElizabeth Petran, Cannon FallsMarika Pfefferkorn, PlymouthLinda Piskor, EaganTad Piper, HamelCaroline Pugh, St. PaulFrank Quale, ChaskaKay Randall, MoorheadKyrra Rankine, MinneapolisLisa Ray, MinneapolisPatrice Relerford, MinneapolisMegan Rice, EaganMargaret Richardson, MinneapolisCristina Rivard, MinneapolisAnne Rizor, DelanoWilliam Rogers, BurnsvilleMark Rossi, Tonka BayAbby Roza, MinneapolisAmanda Salden, ChaskaElaine Salinas, MinneapolisAlyce Sande, RobbinsdaleKate Sattler, MinneapolisKaren Sellers, MinneapolisNathan Sellers, MinneapolisRichard Sellers, MinneapolisJacob Sherman, WayzataJohn Siskoff, Prior LakeGene Skala, Red Lake FallsBetty Smisek, West St. PaulChris Smith, OronoMichelle Smith, JordanScott Smith, JordanPhilip Soran, EdinaLinda Stanton, WoodburySusan Stephenson, Buffalo, NYDawn Sterbuck, Coon RapidsShelly Tanning, MinneapolisJonathan Taves, MinneapolisDenise Thomas, West St. PaulCathy Thompson, MinneapolisMichele Thompson, FloodwoodAnthony Thompson, MinneapolisAlivia Tison, Baton Rouge, LAWendy Truong, Saint CloudJacquie Trudeau, MinneapolisNick Upton, MinneapolisEarl & Margie VanBerkom, Cottage GroveSue Van Hal, PillagerMolly Varley, St. PaulJohn Viacrucis, MoorheadChelsea Vilina, IsantiJeff Wallace, DuluthLeon Wallace, MinneapolisBarbara Walter, BloomingtonTraci Webb, MinneapolisJudy Weinberger, EaganRick Weinberger, EaganDeborah Weiss, St. PaulAllison Welch, MinneapolisAmanda Welliver, St. PaulJacob Whalen, San Juan Capistrano, CABen Whitney, LakelandLee Wick, Maple GroveShawn Williams, AustinLauren Wolkstein, Brooklyn, NYAmy Wolter, St. CloudCindy Wright-Dellanave, RochesterHannah Wydeven, MinneapolisBarbara Yates, RosevilleDeb Young, HastingsChristine Zavoral, East Grand Forks