The state should ensure that social studies teachers know all the subject matter they are licensed to teach.
Maine only offers a general social studies certification to secondary teachers. Candidates are required to pass the Praxis II "Social Studies" content 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 Maine have the option of a middle grades social studies endorsement. These candidates commendably must pass the Praxis II "Middle School Social Studies" test. Unfortunately, Maine allows middle school teachers to teach on a generalist K-8 license (see Goal 1-E).
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. Maine's required assessment combines all subject areas (e.g., history, geography, economics) and does 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.
Maine recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.