Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy
The state should ensure that middle school teachers are sufficiently prepared to teach appropriate grade-level content.
North Carolina requires a middle grades certificate for all middle school teachers. Although the state clearly requires that candidates must complete a teacher preparation program, it is somewhat more ambiguous regarding coursework requirements. North Carolina's standards articulate that middle school teachers must "have depth in one or more specific content areas or disciplines," but it does not offer specific semester hour requirements.
Regrettably, North Carolina does not require content tests for initial licensure; such tests are only mandated once candidates apply for the standard professional 2 license, usually after three years. At that point, all new middle school teachers in North Carolina are also required to pass a single-subject Praxis II content test; a general content knowledge test is not an option.
Board of Education Policy Manual, TCP-A-003 http://sbepolicy.dpi.state.nc.us/ Teacher Certification http://www.ncpublicschools.org/licensure/steps/ www.ets.org/praxis
Strengthen middle school teachers' subject-matter preparation.
The state is commended for not allowing middle school teachers to teach on a K-8 generalist license. However, North Carolina should encourage middle school teachers who plan to teach multiple subjects to earn two minors in two core academic areas, rather than a single major. Middle school candidates who intend to teach a single subject should earn a major in that area.
Require subject-matter testing for middle school teacher candidates as a condition of initial licensure.
North Carolina recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.