Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy
The state should ensure that social studies teachers know all the subject matter they are licensed to teach.
Idaho offers secondary social studies teachers a Social Studies endorsement. However, they must first have an endorsement in one of the following: American government/political science, economics, history or geography—plus at least 12 credit hours in each of the remaining areas. In addition to the Praxis II area-specific test required for the initial endorsement, teachers also have to pass the Praxis II "Social Studies: Content Knowledge" test. Teachers with this license are not limited to teaching general social studies but rather can teach any of the topical areas.
Middle school social studies teachers in Idaho may teach on a generalist K-8 license. A "Ninth Grade Endorsement" is available for elementary teachers who complete the requirements for a subject-area endorsement; this allows teachers to teach that subject through grade 9. Elementary teachers seeking this endorsement are required to pass the Praxis II "Middle School Social Studies" test.
Idaho Administrative Code, IDAPA, 08.02.02, Rule 024, Rule 018 Praxis Testing Requirements www.ets.org
Require secondary social studies teachers to pass tests of content knowledge for each social studies discipline they intend to teach.
States that allow general social studies certifications—and only require a general knowledge social studies exam—are not ensuring that these secondary teachers possess adequate subject-specific content knowledge. Idaho's required general assessment combines all subject areas (e.g., history, geography, economics) and does not report separate scores for each subject area. Therefore, if a teacher is initially endorsed in economics, she could answer many—perhaps all—history questions, for example, incorrectly, yet still be licensed to teach history to high school students.
Require middle school social studies teachers to pass a test of content knowledge that ensures sufficient knowledge of social studies.
Idaho recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.