In this analysis, the number of Emergency Teaching Certificates issued shows an overall decline of 13% from a total of 1,886 in 2005 to 1,638 in 2006. The content areas in which the most Emergency Teaching Certificates were issued reinforces the data reported in the first table and the highest number of Emergency Teaching Certificates issued by content area remains identical:
1. Special Education (all 8 areas combined)
Science (all areas combined)
Based on the identical results from both data sets, ADE is confident that the content areas selected represent valid data on which to base decision making regarding targeted assistance by content area, and in designing efforts to assist teachers in these areas to move to HQ status.
Elementary education emergency teaching certificates
Most Emergency Teaching Certificates, especially those granted in the area of Elementary Education, address very short term certification delays. Arizona is a rapidly growing state. In fact the school population is expected to grow by 50% by 2018. This means that in addition to aggressive “grow your own” strategies to credential more current Arizona residents as teachers, Arizona must continue to actively recruit teachers from out-of-state. This is the basis for most of the requests for Elementary Education Emergency Teaching Certificates. For example, many teachers recruited by Arizona schools are recent graduates from California’s schools of education. California is up to eight months behind in issuing its teaching certificates. Arizona can document that these new graduates have completed their educational requirements but must use the Emergency Certificate as a bridge certificate as new teachers wait for the official documents from California. Exacerbating this problem are those teachers coming from out-of-state that have not previously completed Arizona’s subject matter tests. The first administration of that test for the 2006-07 school year is after the beginning of the school year and results are not received by school districts until October. For these teachers, too, Emergency Certificates are requested until the test results are in and recorded and the out-of-state teacher is eligible for an initial Arizona license.
Arizona concerted effort to limit Emergency Certificates
To assure that Emergency Certificates are used primarily to solve short term certification problems, the State Board of Education has approved new administrative rules limiting the use of Emergency Teaching Certificates in Arizona. These rules will limit the issuance of Emergency Teaching Certificates to a single year with the possibility of no more than two additional years in a lifetime. The rules require applicants to file a plan, monitored by ADE, for obtaining HQ status. Principals must approve and monitor such plans in addition to the monitoring by ADE.