Policy Documents

HB 1893: Opening Doors To Better Teachers And Better Education In Arkansas

Stuart Buck –
March 22, 2011

 

Arkansas’s children deserve good teachers. Good teachers drive student achievement. But teachers in Arkansas are currently licensed under a set of bureaucratic requirements that have never been shown to improve educational quality or benefit students. These bureaucratic requirements can keep potentially good teachers away.

House Bill 1893 improves the teacher licensure process in Arkansas by opening the schoolhouse doors to more potentially good teachers. The bill will help education in Arkansas in three ways:

First, HB 1893 requires the State Board of Education to grant teaching licenses to teachers who have been validly licensed in other states (of course, they must meet other basic requirements, such as having a college degree and passing a background check). This is just common sense: other states’ requirements are about as rigorous as Arkansas’s, so teachers who move here from other states should be just as qualified. If teacher licensing requirements have been satisfied in Tulsa or Memphis, why do we need to force a teacher to jump through a bunch of hoops before teaching in Arkansas?