Elementary Teacher Preparation in
Mathematics: Indiana

Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy


The state should ensure that new elementary teachers have sufficient knowledge of the mathematics content taught in elementary grades.

Nearly meets goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Elementary Teacher Preparation in Mathematics: Indiana results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/IN-Elementary-Teacher-Preparation-in-Mathematics-6

Analysis of Indiana's policies

Indiana is commended for its new teacher content standards that require its teacher preparation programs to ensure that "elementary teachers have fundamental computation skills and a broad and comprehensive understanding of fundamental concepts and processes of mathematics and demonstrate the ability to provide content-specific instruction" in algebra, geometry and other key areas of mathematics.

Indiana has recently adopted the new Praxis II "Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects" content test, which will report a specific subscore for mathematics. 


Recommendations for Indiana

Ensure that new test is a rigorous mathematics assessment.
Indiana should make certain it is assessing mathematics content with a rigorous assessment tool, such as the test required in Massachusetts, that evaluates mathematics knowledge beyond an elementary school level and challenges candidates' understanding of underlying mathematics concepts. 

State response to our analysis

Indiana recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that it has contracted with Pearson to provide all the new teacher licensure exams, and one of the first ones they are developing is a more rigorous math exam. The test will be customized based on the state's new standards, and the plan for implementation is September 1, 2013. It will be a multi-subject test but will have a separate subscore for math. Further, all sections must be passed prior to licensure.  

Last word

NCTQ looks forward to reviewing the state's progress in future editions of the Yearbook.

Research rationale

For evidence that new teachers are not appropriately prepared to teach mathematics, see NCTQ, No Common Denominator: The Preparation of Elementary Teachers in Mathematics by America's Education Schools (2008) at:

For information on the mathematics content elementary teachers need to know, see National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, "Highly Qualified Teachers: A Position of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics," (July 2005). See also Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences, The Mathematical Education of Teachers, Issues in Mathematics, Vol. 11, (American Mathematical Society in cooperation with the Mathematical Association of America, 2001), p. 8.

For evidence on the benefits of math content knowledge on student achievement, see Kukla-Acevedo "Do Teacher Characteristics Matter? New Results on the Effects of Teacher Preparation on Student Achievement." Economics of Education Review, 28 (2009): 49-57; H. Hill, B. Rowan and D. Ball "Effects of Teachers' Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching on Student Achievement," American Educational Research Journal (2005).

For information on where states set passing scores on elementary level content tests for teacher licensing across the U.S., see chart on p. 13 of NCTQ's "Recommendations for the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Removing the Roadblocks: How Federal Policy Can Cultivate Effective Teachers?" (2011).