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: New Hampshire offers a middle school (grades 5-8) license for middle school teachers. All new middle school teachers are required to pass a Praxis II single-subject content test to attain licensure. New Hampshire also allows teachers with secondary certificates to teach single subjects.
Middle School Licensure Deficiencies: Unfortunately, New Hampshire offers a generalist K-8 license. Those teaching on this generalist license must pass the content test required of elementary teachers. Candidates for the K-8 license must obtain a passing score on a Praxis middle school single-subject content test. It's not clear whether teachers with a K-8 license, if teaching at the middle school level, are restricted to teaching only in the subject for which they have a content concentration and a passing score on the applicable Praxis single-subject content test. Because middle school licensure deficiencies are scored in "Middle School Licensure Deficiencies," it is not considered as part of the score for the Middle School Content Knowledge goal.
Praxis Test Requirement www.ets.org Administrative Rules for Education 507.11; -.241; -.25; -.271; -.28; 513.01
Require subject-matter testing for all middle school teacher candidates.
New Hampshire wisely requires subject-matter tests for most middle school teachers but should address any deficiencies that undermine this policy (see "Middle School Licensure Deficiencies" analysis and recommendations).
New Hampshire recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis; however, the analysis was revised subsequent to the state's
review. The state also indicated that the Council for Teacher Education (CTE)
developed a proposal recommending:
NCTQ looks forward to reviewing the state's progress in future editions of the Yearbook.
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.