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Teacher Licensure and Workforce Quality: Insights from Covid-Era Emergency Licenses in Massachusetts

Much recent debate among policymakers and policy advocates focuses on whether states should reduce teacher licensure requirements to ease the burdens of recruiting high quality teachers to the workforce. We examine the effectiveness of individuals who entered the teacher workforce in Massachusetts during the pandemic by obtaining an emergency license, which requires only a bachelor’s degree. Our results show that, in 2021-22, newly hired emergency licensed teachers: 1) were largely rated as proficient (82%) in their performance evaluation ratings and 2) had similar measures of student test score growth as their traditionally licensed peers. However, we find suggestive evidence that emergency licensed teachers with no prior employment in Massachusetts public schools and no prior engagement with the teacher pipeline (i.e., enrollment in teacher preparation, attempting licensure exams) received lower performance ratings and had lower measures of student test score growth in English Language Arts. Taken together, these results encourage the creation of additional flexibility in licensure requirements for those who have demonstrated prior efforts to join the educator pipeline.

Teacher Licensure, Teacher Quality, COVID-19
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Chi, Olivia L., Andrew Bacher-Hicks, Ariel Tichnor-Wagner, and Sidrah Baloch. (). Teacher Licensure and Workforce Quality: Insights from Covid-Era Emergency Licenses in Massachusetts. (EdWorkingPaper: 24-936). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University:

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