Secondary Teacher Preparation in Science: New
Hampshire

Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should ensure that science teachers know all the subject matter they are licensed to teach.

Meets
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Secondary Teacher Preparation in Science: New Hampshire results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/NH-Secondary-Teacher-Preparation-in-Science-6

Analysis of New Hampshire's policies

New Hampshire does not offer certification in general science for secondary teachers. It should be noted, however, that the ETS/Praxis website refers to a physical science certification. NCTQ continues to encourage the state to ensure that its testing requirements are listed accurately so that teachers seeking certification have correct information.

Middle school science teachers in New Hampshire have the option of earning an endorsement in middle level science. Candidates must pass both the Praxis II "General Science: Content Essays" test and the "General Science" test. Regrettably, however, the state also allows middle school teachers to teach on a generalist K-8 license (see Goal 1-E).

Citation

Recommendations for New Hampshire

State response to our analysis

New Hampshire asserted that it requires all middle school teachers in grades 7-8 who teach core content areas to demonstrate content knowledge by either passing a Praxis II content test or earning the equivalent of a college major in that content area. The state added that it recently adopted the Praxis II Middle School Science test.

Research rationale

For an examination of how science teacher preparation positively impacts student achievement, see Goldhaber, D., & Brewer, D. (2000). Does teacher certification matter? High school certification status and student achievement, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 22, 129-145; Monk, D. (1994). Subject area preparation of secondary mathematics and science teachers and student achievement, Economics of Education Review, 12(2):125-145; Rothman, A., (1969). Teacher characteristics and student learning. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 6(4), 340-348.  

See also, NCTQ "The All-Purpose Science Teacher: An Analysis of Loopholes in State Requirements for High School Science Teachers."(2010). 

In addition, research studies have demonstrated the positive impact of teacher content knowledge on student achievement.  For example, see D. Goldhaber, "Everyone's Doing It, But What Does Teacher Testing Tell Us About Teacher Effectiveness?" Journal of Human Resources, vol. XLII no.4 (2007).  See also Harris, D., and Sass, T., "Teacher Training, Teacher Quality and Student Achievement". Teacher Quality Research (2007). Evidence can also be found in White, Presely, DeAngelis "Leveling up: Narrowing the teacher academic capital gap in Illinois," Illinois Education Research Council (2008); D. Goldhaber and D. Brewer, "Why Don't Schools and Teachers Seem to Matter? Assessing the impact of Unobservables on Educational Productivity." Journal of Human Resources (1998).