The state should ensure that middle school teachers demonstrate sufficient knowledge of appropriate grade-level content. This goal has been revised since 2017.
Content Test Requirements: Minnesota offers middle-level endorsements to teach grades 5-8 for communication arts and literature,
mathematics, social studies, and general science. Teachers with a grades 5-8 license in chemistry, earth and space science, life science, or physics "can provide instruction in all science disciplines to students in grades 5 to 8." All new middle school teachers in Minnesota are required to pass a Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations (MTLE) Middle Level single-subject test to attain licensure.
Provisional and Emergency Licensure: Because provisional and emergency licensure requirements are scored in Provisional and Emergency Licensure , only the test requirements for the state's initial license are considered as part of this goal.
Test Requirement www.mtle.nesinc.com Minnesota Administrative Rules 8710.3310, .3320, .3330, .3340; .4750 Minnesota Statutes 122A.06 and 122A.18
Require subject-matter testing for all middle school teacher candidates.
Minnesota wisely requires subject-matter tests for most middle school teachers but should address any deficiencies that undermine this policy (see Goal 3-B: Middle School Licensure Deficiencies analysis and recommendations).
Minnesota was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis.
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.