The state should ensure that new elementary teachers have sufficient knowledge of the mathematics content taught in elementary grades.
New York relies on coursework requirements, its standards for teacher preparation programs and its subject-matter testing framework as the basis for articulating its requirements for the mathematics content knowledge of elementary teacher candidates.
The state requires all teacher candidates to complete a general education core curriculum that includes "mathematical processes." However, New York neither specifies the requisite content of these classes nor that they must meet the needs of elementary teachers. The state has also articulated teaching standards that its approved teacher preparation programs must use to frame instruction in elementary mathematics content.
All new elementary teachers in New York must pass the New York State Teacher Certification Examination liberal arts and sciences test, which covers "mathematical processes," and the Multi-Subject Content Specialty Test (CST). This test's standards address content in mathematics foundations, but although they outline such areas as algebra, geometry, statistics and data analysis, the standards are not specifically geared to meet the needs of elementary teachers. Further, neither state test provides a specific mathematics passing score, so it may be possible to fail the mathematics portion and still pass the tests.
Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, Part 52.21 http://www.nystce.nesinc.com/NY_viewobjs_opener.asp
Require teacher preparation programs to provide mathematics content specifically geared to the needs of elementary teachers.
Although New York requires knowledge in some key areas of mathematics, the state should require teacher preparation programs to provide mathematics content specifically geared to the needs of elementary teachers. This includes specific coursework in foundations, algebra and geometry, with some statistics.
Require teacher candidates to pass a rigorous mathematics assessment.
New York should require a passing score specifically in math for its content assessments to ensure that teacher candidates have adequate mathematics knowledge and understanding of underlying mathematics concepts. Such a score could be used to allow candidates to test out of coursework requirements. Teacher candidates who lack minimum mathematics knowledge should not be eligible for licensure.
New York asserted that early childhood and childhood certifications require teacher preparation programs to ensure that candidates have a knowledge base for teaching to the student learning standards in math. Further, New York noted that in January 2011, the Board of Regents adopted the Common Core Learning Standards for English language arts and literacy and Common Core Learning Standards for mathematics. It is, therefore, expected that preparation programs will be preparing teacher candidates to teach to these new learning standards.
In addition, New York pointed out that it is in the process of developing new teacher certification assessments, which will test candidates' knowledge of the P-12 Common Core Learning Standards. The new content assessments for elementary and common branch teachers will be designed to test for knowledge of English language arts and literacy, mathematics and science, and arts separately. Teacher candidates will be required to pass each part independently to attain certification.