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: Kentucky requires a middle school specialization (grades 5-9) for all middle school teachers. All new middle school teachers in
Kentucky are also required to pass a single-subject Praxis II content
test to attain licensure; a general content-knowledge test is not an
Praxis Test Requirements www.ets.org Kentucky Administrative Regulations 16 KAR 2:010, Section 4 and 16 KAR 6:010
Ensure that content tests adequately measure sufficient knowledge in all subjects.
Kentucky should ensure that its subject-matter tests for middle school teacher candidates is sufficiently rigorous. The state should ensure that the required passing scores on each test reflect high levels of performance. Doing so will help to ensure that every student is taught by a teacher with adequate subject-matter knowledge.
Kentucky recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that the recently passed Kentucky
Administrative Rules require that all middle school, high school, grades 5-12,
and grades P-12 certification educator preparation programs shall require that
all candidates admitted after August 1, 2016, demonstrate the six (6)
International Reading Association Standards 2010: Middle and High School
Content Classroom Teacher as published in the Standards for Reading
Professionals - Revised 2010.
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.