Leveraging Flexible Teacher Certification Policies to Address the Bilingual Teacher Shortage

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Sara Rutherford-Quach, Daniela Torre Gibney, Hannah Kelly, Jennifer Ballen Riccards, Elisa Garcia, Mindy Hsiao, Emma Pellerin, Carrie Parker
Institutional Author
Comprehensive Center Network
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Published Date
12-20-2021 2:53 PM
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This brief is the third of a four-part series that focuses on bilingual education, bilingual educators, andaddressing the bilingual teacher shortage in contexts across the United States. This research was commissioned by the New Jersey State Department of Education, which is committed to providing quality bilingual education to its linguistically diverse student population. More than half of U.S. states are experiencing bilingual teacher shortages, with shortages most acute in states that provide bilingual education to the greatest numbers of English learners (ELs) and those that require teachers to obtain specific bilingual endorsements (for more information onthe term English learner, please refer to our previous brief, Bilingual Education Across the United States).These states experience a persistent tension between: 1) requiring educators to comply with certification requirements and 2) meeting the increasing demand for bilingual teachers,ii driven by the growing population of ELsiii and the increasing popularity of dual language programs. States have created various policy solutions to broaden their bilingual teacher pool by diversifying the ways in which teachers may gain certification. In this brief, we share strategies that state education agencies may use to provide more flexibility in teacher certification policies and thereby mitigate bilingual teacher shortages, including:1. providing educators multiple pathways to certification,2. offering prospective teachers a menu of certification requirements,3. allowing educators to earn probationary certifications, and4. creating flexible reciprocity policies.
Teacher Qualifications and Certification
Bilingual Students