Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy
The state should ensure that science teachers know all the subject matter they are licensed to teach.
Colorado offers an endorsement in science education, which combines physics, biology, chemistry, earth and space science, and environmental science. This appears to be the only secondary science endorsement. To demonstrate content proficiency, candidates may either complete 24 semester hours of course credit or achieve a passing score on either the PLACE test ("Science") or the Praxis II "General Science" test. Teachers with this license are not limited to teaching general science but rather can teach any of the topical areas.
Colorado does not articulate any additional requirements for middle school science teachers. The state also allows middle school science teachers to teach on a generalist K-8 license (see Goal 1-E).
Colorado Initial Teaching License-Approved Programs www.cde.state.co.us/cdeprof/Licensure_tch_approved.asp Program for Licensing Assessments for Colorado Educators www.place.nesinc.com Praxis Testing Requirements www.ets.org
Require secondary science teachers to pass tests of content knowledge for each science discipline they intend to teach.
Although coursework plays a key role in teachers' acquisition of content knowledge, program completion should not replace the requirement of an assessment, which is the only way to ensure that teachers possess adequate knowledge of the subject area. While a major is generally indicative of a background in a particular subject area, only a subject-matter test ensures that candidates know the specific content they will need to teach.
Require middle school science teachers to also pass a test of content knowledge that ensures sufficient knowledge of science.
Colorado recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.