Middle School Teacher Preparation :

Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy


The state should ensure that middle school teachers are sufficiently prepared to teach appropriate grade-level content.

Meets goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Middle School Teacher Preparation : Connecticut results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/CT-Middle-School-Teacher-Preparation--6

Analysis of Connecticut's policies

Connecticut requires a "middle grades certificate" for all middle school teachers. The state also requires that all middle school teacher candidates complete one of the following: a subject-area major, an interdisciplinary major, or 24 semester hours of study in a subject and 15 semester hours in a second subject.

All new middle school teachers in Connecticut are also required to pass a single-subject Praxis II content test to attain licensure; a general content knowledge test is not an option.


Recommendations for Connecticut

Differentiate between single and multiple subject middle school teachers.
Connecticut is commended for ensuring that middle school teachers are sufficiently prepared to teach middle school-level content. Connecticut should, however, consider refining its policy by requiring the single major for teachers who plan to teach a single subject and the equivalent of two minors for those intending to teach multiple subjects.

State response to our analysis

Connecticut recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

A report published by the National Mathematics Advisory Panel (NMAP) concludes that a teacher's knowledge of math makes a difference in student achievement. U.S. Department of Education. Foundation for Success: The Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education (2008).

For additional research on the importance of subject matter knowledge, see Dee and Chodes, "Out-of-Field Teaching and Student Achievement; Evidence from Matched-Pairs Comparisons." Public Finance Review (2008); as B. Chaney, "Student outcomes and the professional preparation of 8th grade teachers," in NSF/NELS 88: Teacher transcript analysis (Rockville, MD: Westat, 1995); H. Wenglinsky, How Teaching Matters: Bringing the Classroom Back Into Discussions of Teacher Quality (Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service, 2000). For information on the "ceiling effect," see D. Goldhaber and D. Brewer, "When should we reward degrees for teachers?" in Phi Delta Kappan 80, No. 2 (1998): 134-138.