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Derailment 2. Teacher certification is made up of arbitrary tiers and barriers that are not aligned to modern-day workforce needs and that impede educator diversity.

Connecticut is in the midst of reimagining its workforce and looking ahead. But the teacher certification process is outdated, and it fails to capture the real-world pathways that reflect how teachers will join the profession in the future.


For career-changers without education backgrounds, there are not sufficient on-ramps. And for paraeducators with educational experience and community ties, there is no accelerated path to becoming a professional teacher.


Unlike other highly skilled professionals, Connecticut’s teachers must also move through a tiered system of certification—including an initial set of temporary certificates, and three stages of longer-term certification that advance from Initial to Provisional to Professional. Along the way, teachers working full time are required to get a master’s degree, which is costly and time-consuming. From the time they graduate from a preparation program, it takes new teachers years to reach Professional status. 


These are significant impediments to diversifying the educator workforce, a critical priority in Connecticut.


Center for Public Research and Leadership (2023). Connecticut Educator Insights on Building a More Effective, Diverse Educator Workforce. Retrieved September 2023.

CSDE (2022). What teaching certificates are available in Connecticut? Retrieved September 2023.

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