The state should ensure that middle school teachers are sufficiently prepared to teach appropriate grade-level content.
Hawaii requires middle school certification (grades 5-9) for all middle school teachers. The state does not explicitly require a major or minor in the subject areas that the candidates plan to teach.
All new middle school teachers in Hawaii are also required to pass a single-subject Praxis II content test to attain licensure; a general content knowledge test is not an option.
Strengthen middle school teachers' subject-matter preparation.
Hawaii is commended for not allowing middle school teachers to teach on a K-8 generalist license. But the state should strengthen middle school teachers' subject-matter preparation by encouraging middle school teachers who plan to teach multiple subjects to earn two minors in two core academic areas. Middle school candidates who intend to teach a single subject should earn a major in that area.
Hawaii noted that middle-level teachers in all core middle-level subjects must pass the appropriate middle-level content examination in their core subject field. Teachers adding a middle-level core subject to an existing license may either submit the middle-level content test or 30 hours of coursework in the core subject.
Hawaii also reiterated that it does not issue a generalist license in middle-level education.