Walker Will Include New Teacher-Licensing Method In Budget Proposal

Plan Would Allow People With Teaching Experience To Take 'Competency Test' To Gain License

Teachers would be able to take a competency test to gain a license under Gov. Walker's new proposal. Photo: Bart Everson (CC-BY).

Gov. Scott Walker is proposing another alternative pathway for a college graduate to become a licensed teacher in Wisconsin.

Walker said that someone who has “real-life experience” in a subject area will be able to take a competency exam to gain a teacher’s license.

“There are no details with what the governor is talking about at this point,” said Christina Brey, a spokeswoman for the statewide teachers union. “If we only care about what a teacher knows and we don’t require a teacher to prove that they have a solid background in how to teach and how to connect with children, I think we would really be missing the boat.”

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The Department of Public Instruction noted that alternative pathways to obtain a teacher’s license already exist, but they require additional training or existing experience teaching.

Walker’s spokeswoman said his upcoming budget will direct DPI to create a competency exam and the license would only be available for grades six to 12. Walker has said he will release his budget proposal on Feb. 3.