Tennessee opens teacher licensure Web site

Staff Reports

   Interested parents and other citizens have a way to verify the qualifications of teachers in the state's classrooms. Teachers, themselves, now have an easy way to keep up with the status of their own license. The Tennessee Department of Education has recently announced a new addition to its Web site that will allow access to licensure information for Tennessee's teachers.
   The site provides the type of license the teacher holds, the areas the teacher is endorsed to teach, and the issue and expiration dates of the license. Only the information that is legally accessible to the public is included.
   "The Department views this effort as a powerful tool for parental involvement," stated Faye P. Taylor, Education Commissioner. "Parents have the right to know the qualifications of the teachers responsible for educating their children, school officials need up to date information to make teaching assignments, and at the same time teachers need an easy way to keep up with their own endorsements and expiration dates."
   The announcement is part of an overall effort by the Department of Education to provide as much information to the public as possible. While this information has been available to the public in the past, there was no easy way to access it. It is also part of the state's response to new federal requirements to have "qualified teachers" in every classroom by 2005.
   "We have to know where our needs are in order to target our recruitment efforts effectively," Taylor said. "We have seen a sharp increase in the numbers teaching on waiver or permit in recent years, and too many of those are in schools with our most vulnerable students. This site will give school administrators ready access to the information they need to make teaching assignments that are in the best interests of student achievement."
   Information on the numbers of teachers on the waiver or permit is available on the Department's home page.
   www.state.tn.us/education or at https://www.k-12.state.tn.us/tcertinf.