Middle School Teacher Preparation : Louisiana

Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should ensure that middle school teachers are sufficiently prepared to teach appropriate grade-level content.

Meets
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Middle School Teacher Preparation : Louisiana results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/LA-Middle-School-Teacher-Preparation--6

Analysis of Louisiana's policies

Louisiana requires a middle grades certificate (grades 4-8) for all middle school teachers. Candidates must focus on two in-depth teaching areas that include language arts, science, social studies and mathematics. Each focus area consists of 19 credit hours total, including general education and focus-area coursework. The state also allows secondary teachers to teach middle school; they must earn a total of 31 hours of combined general education and focus-area coursework in the primary teaching area. They must also earn a total of 19 hours of coursework in a secondary teaching area.

All new middle school teachers in Louisiana are also required to pass a single-subject Praxis II content test to attain licensure; a general content knowledge test is not an option.

Citation

Recommendations for Louisiana

State response to our analysis

Louisiana recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

A report published by the National Mathematics Advisory Panel (NMAP) concludes that a teacher's knowledge of math makes a difference in student achievement. U.S. Department of Education. Foundation for Success: The Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education (2008).

For additional research on the importance of subject matter knowledge, see Dee and Chodes, "Out-of-Field Teaching and Student Achievement; Evidence from Matched-Pairs Comparisons." Public Finance Review (2008); as B. Chaney, "Student outcomes and the professional preparation of 8th grade teachers," in NSF/NELS 88: Teacher transcript analysis (Rockville, MD: Westat, 1995); H. Wenglinsky, How Teaching Matters: Bringing the Classroom Back Into Discussions of Teacher Quality (Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service, 2000). For information on the "ceiling effect," see D. Goldhaber and D. Brewer, "When should we reward degrees for teachers?" in Phi Delta Kappan 80, No. 2 (1998): 134-138.