Secondary Teacher Preparation Policy
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: 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 middle school 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.
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.ets.org/praxis Administrative Rules for Education 507.11; .26; .29; .55; .56; and 514.01
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 indicated that it currently offers the following endorsements that are content specific in the middle school grade span and the corresponding test code.
Earth and Space Science (7-12) 1304
English (5-8) 0501
English (5-12) 0500
Life Science (7-12) 1301
Mathematics, Middle Level (to Algebra/Integrated I) 1102
Physical Science (7-12) 1313
Physics (7-12) 1309
Science (5-8) 1305
Social Studies (5-8) 1501
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.