Schools across the country might be hiring teachers who have broken rules or even lost their teaching license in a different state, a USA Today investigation found.
And according to some findings that USA Today didn't publish in its story, there could be more than 800 teachers throughout California who have been disciplined -- but other states that consider hiring them might not know it.
A team of USA Today Network journalists based in different cities and led by Washington, D.C.-based reporter Steve Reilly obtained state records of teacher discipline and misconduct. The group compared those records with the names in a voluntary database maintained by the National Assn. of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC).
The NASDTEC Clearinghouse is the only national database that states can use to check whether a potential teacher has been disciplined or had a license revoked elsewhere. But thousands of names are missing from it, according to USA Today’s analysis, published Sunday.
“The missing names include more than 1,400 teachers whose credentials were permanently revoked or surrendered in one state, and more than 200 cases of sexual or physical abuse,” USA Today wrote in the explanation of its analysis. The names of thousands more who were disciplined in any way were missing as well.
None of the California examples was cited in the story, though USA Today gave the state a B grade in tracking teacher discipline because of its flaws in reporting to NASDTEC, Reilly said.
It is California’s policy to report teacher discipline to NASDTEC, said Joshua Speaks, a spokesman for California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing. There might be names missing, but he doesn’t know which names are missing or why, Speaks said. He plans to ask Reilly for the names and follow up.
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