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 York offers single-subject certifications for grades 5-9. These candidates must pass a single-subject content test.
For K-8 schools that offer non-departmentalized middle grades, New York requires a Generalist in Middle Childhood Education (grades 5-9) certificate. These candidates must pass the New York State Teacher Certification Examination (NYSTCE) Multi-Subject: Teachers of Middle Childhood (Grades 5-Grades 9) test, which, according to the framework, is divided into three separately scored subtests. The first includes literacy and English language arts; the second focuses on math; and the third combines science, social studies and fine arts, health and fitness, family and consumer science, and career development.
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 http://www.nystce.nesinc.com/PageView.aspx?f=GEN_WhatTestsDoINeedToTake.html Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, Part 52.21(b)(3)iii
Require content testing in all core areas.
As a condition of initial licensure, all candidates teaching multiple subjects in the middle grades in New York should have to pass a subject-matter test in every core academic area they intend to teach. New York is on the right track by administering a three-part licensing test for those teaching in K-8 schools, thus making it harder for teachers to pass if they fail some subject areas. However, the state is encouraged to further strengthen its policy and require separate passing scores for each subject on its multiple-subject test. To ensure meaningful middle school content tests, the state should set its passing scores to reflect high levels of performance.
New York recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
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.