The Florida Legislature
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Review of Florida's Teacher Certification System Administered by the Department of Education , Report No. 95-10, October 1995
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  • Teachers should be regulated to ensure that they are qualified, the profession has minimum standards, professionalism is increased, accountability is provided to the state, and continuity is maintained between districts. We evaluated the feasibility of three regulatory approaches (licensure, certification, and registration) and the effect of not regulating teachers. We concluded that teachers should be regulated to ensure that they are professionally qualified. Registration would not provide this assurance. Although licensure provides some benefits, it lacks flexibility and accessibility. Certification, however, provides some degree of both minimum knowledge and protection of the public, while remaining flexible for applicants. Certification establishes standards to help ensure that teachers are qualified, provides a mechanism to oversee the teaching profession, and enhances professionalism for certified teachers.
  • Currently, the Department of Education is statutorily assigned the responsibility for certifying Florida's teachers. However, we evaluated the feasibility of other organizational placement options: the Department of Education (DOE), the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), the Education Standards Commission, school districts, professional associations, and a private organization (privatization). DOE appears to meet most of the criteria used to assess the options. Although DBPR is the only other entity that has experience in regulating a profession, continuity with other support services for teacher certification may be impaired.
  • Neither the Department of Education nor the Florida Education Standards Commission have established goals and objectives for assessing whether teacher certification is meeting the intent established in statute. Section 231.145, F.S., provides that teachers certified in the state possess the credentials, knowledge, and skills necessary to provide quality education. Although outcome measures for assessing the effectiveness of the Teacher Certification System have not been developed, the Department has established some process-oriented efficiency measures to use in evaluating its implementation of the teacher certification requirements.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Department of Business and Professional Regulation
Education System
Certification and Professional Development

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 99-49 Progress Report: Fewer Teacher Certification Staff Needed Because of Streamlining and Technology, published in April 2000.
  • Report No. 99-26 Program Review: Management Training Act Should Be Revised, published in January 2000.
  • Report No. 97-46 Follow-up Report on Florida’s Teacher Certification System Administered by the Department of Education, published in February 1998.
  • Report No. 96-52 Review of the Decentralization of the Teacher Certification Renewal Process, published in February 1997.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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