Secondary Teacher Preparation Policy
The state should ensure that middle school teachers are sufficiently prepared to teach appropriate grade-level content and for the ways that college- and career-readiness standards affect instruction of all subject areas. This goal was reorganized in 2017.
Content Test Requirements: Georgia requires middle-grades certification (grades 4-8) for all middle school teachers. All new middle school
teachers in Georgia are also required to pass a specific subject-area
test, one of the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators
tests, to attain licensure.
Academic Requirements: Teacher preparation programs must prepare candidates in at least two of the following areas of concentration: reading, language arts, mathematics, science or social science. The state defines an area of concentration as a minimum of 15 semester hours.
GACE Test Requirement www.gace.ets.org GAPSC Rules 505-3-.19; 505-2-.60
Georgia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
3A: Middle School Content Knowledge
Middle school grades are critical years of schooling. It is in these years that far too many students fall through the cracks. However, requirements for the preparation and licensure of middle school teachers can be especially problematic. States need to distinguish the knowledge and skills needed by middle school teachers from those needed by an elementary teacher. Whether teaching a single subject in a departmentalized setting or teaching multiple subjects in a self-contained setting, middle school teachers must be able to teach significantly more advanced content than elementary teachers. In order to do so, middle school teachers must be deeply knowledgeable about every subject they will be licensed to teach, and able to pass a licensing test in every core subject to demonstrate this knowledge. The notion that someone should be identically prepared to teach first grade or eighth grade mathematics seems ridiculous, but states that license teachers on a K-8 generalist certificate essentially endorse this idea.