Secondary Teacher Preparation Policy
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: Missouri requires middle school certification (grades 5-9) for all middle school teachers. All new middle school teachers are required to pass a single-subject Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments (MEGA) content test to attain licensure; a general content-knowledge test is not an option. Missouri also allows teachers to add areas of certification with either coursework or a passing score on a content test.
MEGA Test Requirement http://www.mo.nesinc.com/ Code of State Regulations 5 CSR 20-400.280 and 400.530 Adding Endorsements http://dese.mo.gov/eq/cert/alreadycertified.html#addarea
Close the loophole that allows teachers to add middle-grade levels to an existing license without demonstrating content knowledge.
NCTQ urges the state to require that all teachers who add the middle-grade levels to their certificates pass a rigorous subject-matter test to ensure content knowledge of all subject areas before they teach in a classroom as the teacher of record.
Missouri reiterated that it requires all middle school teachers to pass a specific middle school content assessment for their certification in that area.
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.