MINNEAPOLIS, MN—Today, the Office of the Legislative Auditor, a nonpartisan and well-respected state agency, released its long-awaited evaluation of teacher licensure in Minnesota. The OLA finds that the state's current system, which splits licensing responsibilities between the Board of Teaching and the Minnesota Department of Education, is "complex and confusing" and results in diminished accountability, as well as frustration for aspiring teachers. Calling the current system "broken," the OLA offers policy recommendations to significantly improve it. Key recommendations include:
- The Legislature should consolidate all teacher licensure activities into one state entity;
- If nothing else, the Legislature should clarify in statute whether the BoT or MDE is responsible for various licensure activities;
- The Legislature should clarify Minnesota's statutes regarding teacher licensure requirements, more clearly defining the types of licenses available to teacher candidates;
- In its licensure denial letters, the licensing agency should specifically state the deficiencies it identifies in an applicant's preparation or qualifications; and
- The licensing agency should ensure that its license appeal process is consistent with the law.
"This audit confirms what we've been saying for a long time: Our teacher licensure system is broken and confusing, and denies aspiring and experienced educators clear, fair paths to the Minnesota classrooms that need them," said MinnCAN Executive Director Daniel Sellers. He continued, "We thank the Office of the Legislative Audit for its thorough report, and the countless teachers, school leaders and community members who have long been sharing their stories and advocating for a better system. We support the majority of the OLA's findings and recommendations, and are confident that consolidating licensing responsibilities into one state entity and clarifying licensure requirements would improve teacher licensure in the state, increasing both accountability and transparency. We look forward to continuing to partner with educators and policymakers to ensure that Minnesota can attract and retain the great teachers our students need and deserve."
For more information, interviews with Daniel Sellers or interviews with educators who have been harmed by the state's broken licensure system, contact MinnCAN Public Affairs Manager Ariana Kiener: 612-666-3066 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About MinnCAN: MinnCAN advocates for the success of every Minnesota student, from pre-K through college and career. We improve policy to help all students thrive and share promising practices and stories to demonstrate that all kids CAN succeed. Learn more at www.minncan.org.