Education: Licensing Plans

Proposals to improve teaching

Doctors are licensed. So are lawyers, hairdressers and real estate agents. Should schoolteachers be licensed too?

At present, most public school teachers are required only to hold state certificates. Unlike licenses, these are usually awarded automatically when teacher candidates graduate from an accredited education program. Once granted, such certificates usually extend through a lifetime of teaching—unless the holder is convicted of a crime or proved flagrantly incompetent.

This year, though, the state of Oklahoma decided that aspiring teachers would be required to take exams to show they know their subjects. If they pass they are licensed, but only for a...

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