The state should ensure that social studies teachers know all the subject matter they are licensed to teach.
Massachusetts does not offer secondary certification in general social studies. However, the state's secondary history certificate requires that candidates pass the MTEL history assessment, which combines history, geography, government and economics. The political science/political philosophy certificate requires that candidates pass the corresponding MTEL test, which combines political philosophy, U.S. government and civics, comparative government and international relations, history, and geography and economics. Neither test reports separate scores for each individual area.
Middle school social studies teachers may be certified at the middle grades level in the same two areas mentioned above for secondary grades, with the same testing requirements, or they may choose the middle school humanities certification. Its corresponding MTEL test combines literature, language and reading with history, geography, government and economics. Separate scores for each area are not reported.
603 CMR 7.06 Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure www.mtel.nesinc.com
Require secondary social studies teachers to pass tests of content knowledge for each social studies discipline they intend to teach.
Massachusetts's required assessments combine subject areas and do not report separate scores for each subject area. Therefore, candidates could answer many 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.
Massachusetts recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. However, the state asserted that it does not offer a social studies license or endorsement.
Although the state does not specifically offer a general social studies endorsement, candidates seeking the secondary history and political science/political philosophy certificates are only required to pass tests that combine subject areas within social studies and do not report subscores. Therefore, Massachusetts cannot guarantee content knowledge in each area.