Policy Documents

Virtually Irrelevant: How Certification Rules Impede the Growth of Virtual Schools

Terry Stoops –
July 6, 2011

Teacher-certification requirements are among the most onerous rules enforced by state education agencies and have the potential seriously to limit the scope, quality, and accessibility of virtual schooling for years to come. By design, certification requirements prohibit unlicensed individuals who reside within a state — such as higher education faculty, private-sector professionals, private school faculty, and independent scholars — from teaching virtual courses. States should allow their virtual schools to have the flexibility to focus on hiring candidates who possess the requisite skills and relevant knowledge and experience, rather than those who possess mandated credentials.