Improve Educator Background Checks with NASDTEC’s Educator ID Clearinghouse
Carleen Mitchell, Deputy Director, APEI
School districts have a responsibility to make sure that each candidate being offered a position in their district has the skills and personal skills to be successful in their role. This includes conducting background and reference checks to confirm that there are no situations in the candidate’s background that could put children at risk. However, criminal background checks will not reveal instances of educator misconduct that do not rise to the level of criminal activity, and employment references may be unwilling to share information about alleged misconduct by a past employee. This gap in the background check process puts school districts at risk of hiring an educator who may be a threat to children. There is an additional resource that will allow school districts to expand their background check process and identify red flags about a potential new hire.
The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) can provide school districts with access to the Educator ID Clearinghouse (“Clearinghouse”). The Clearinghouse is a national collection point for professional educator disciplinary actions taken in all 50 states. The goal of the Clearinghouse is to allow this information to be readily available to school districts around the country so they can make more informed decisions in hiring, and in doing so, protect kids.
The Clearinghouse is easy to use. After entering some basic employee data, the school district can quickly access information indicating if any disciplinary action has been taken against an individual’s educator’s license in another state. The district can then further investigate this information to help them make the best hiring decisions possible. Access to the Clearinghouse is made available to districts through an annual associate membership fee of $500, plus a user license fee of $100 per 300 full-time employees.
If your school district is a member of APEI, we want to help you get signed up to use the Clearinghouse, and we will cover the cost of access. APEI will be reaching out to all of our school district members to talk about how to sign up for the Clearinghouse and how it works. But members don’t have to wait for our call! We invite members to contact APEI to get the registration process started.
For more information about the Clearinghouse, visit the NASDTEC website or come visit us at the APEI booth at the AASB Conference.
The views expressed here are the writer’s and are not necessarily endorsed by the Association of Alaska School Boards. AASB welcomes diverse perspectives and civil discourse. To submit a Guest Column for consideration, see our Guest Column Guidelines and email your 400-1000 word submission HERE.