Legislative Auditor: Minnesota’s teacher licensure system is broken, needs changes

Minnesota’s Office of the Legislative Auditor today released its “Minnesota Teacher Licensure” report.

Their key finding: “Minnesota’s teacher licensure system is broken and needs significant changes.”

In a statement, the Office of the Legislative Auditor wrote:

We found that teacher licensure laws are complex and unclear. We also found that because the Minnesota Board of Teaching and the Minnesota Department of Education share responsibility for licensing teachers in Minnesota, accountability is diffuse and decision making is not always transparent. We make a number of recommendations that would clarify teacher-licensure requirements and more clearly assign responsibility for licensing teachers in the state.

The Legislative Auditor’s 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 Minnesota Board of Teaching or the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is responsible for the various teacher licensure activities.
  • The Legislature should clarify Minnesota statutes regarding teacher licensure requirements.
  • The Legislature should restructure the state’s teacher licensure system to ensure consistency and transparency; we recommend the Legislature consider establishing a tiered-licensure system.
  • In its licensure denial letters, MDE should specifically state the deficiencies it identified in an applicant’s preparation or qualifications.
  • The Board of Teaching should ensure that its licensure appeal process is consistent with the law.

For a summary of the report, visit either link below:

The full report is available at: http://www.auditor.leg.state.mn.us/ped/pedrep/teachers.pdf.

Both the Minnesota House and Senate will hear this report next week.

About mnmsba

The Minnesota School Boards Association, a leading advocate for public education, supports, promotes and strengthens the work of public school boards.
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