Secondary Teacher Preparation Policy
The state should ensure that middle school teachers demonstrate sufficient knowledge of appropriate grade-level content. This goal has been revised since 2017.
Content Test Requirements: Idaho offers a grades 5-9 certificate in core subject areas. Candidates earning this certificate are required to pass a Praxis secondary single subject exam as a condition of initial licensure.
Middle School Licensure Deficiencies: Unfortunately, Idaho also offers a K-8 license. Idaho requires generalist candidates to pass a single-subject content test at either the middle school or secondary level. This is part of the state's requirement that all candidates seeking an elementary education endorsement earn a subject-area endorsement (allowing the teaching of that subject through grade 9) or a K-12 endorsement as outlined in the requirements for a secondary certificate. Because middle school licensure deficiencies are scored in "Middle School Licensure Deficiencies," only the test requirements for middle school licenses are considered as part of the score for the Middle School Content Knowledge goal.
Provisional and Emergency Licensure: Because provisional and emergency licensure requirements are scored in Provisional and Emergency Licensure , only the test requirements for the state's initial license are considered as part of this goal.
Test Requirement www.ets.org/praxis Idaho Administrative Code 08.02.02.022.02
Require subject-matter testing for all middle school teacher candidates.
Idaho wisely requires subject-matter tests for most middle school teachers but should address any deficiencies that undermine this policy (see Middle School Licensure Deficiencies analysis and recommendations).
Idaho recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis, however this analysis was updated subsequent to the state's review.
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.