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1,400 revoked teachers missing from national database

A group that maintains a voluntary national database of disciplined teachers promised a state-by-state audit in February, following a critical story by USA Today that revealed serious flaws in the data gathering.

“Broken discipline tracking systems let teachers flee troubled pasts,” said the headline, blaming a fragmented system for checking teachers’ backgrounds. The story, which included multiple state-specific articles, followed a year-long investigation by the news organization.

About 9,000 teachers who had been disciplined in various states were missing from the database of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC), including 1,400 teachers whose licenses were permanently revoked—200 cases based on alleged sexual abuse.

In response to the USA Today report, NASDTEC officials said states participating will be required to audit all of their submissions to date to ensure accuracy and completeness.