The state should ensure that middle school teachers are sufficiently prepared to teach appropriate grade-level content.
New York requires academic subject certificates for most middle school teachers. These include mathematics, English, social studies and grade-specific science titles, and each requires a major in the subject area. For K-8 schools that offer nondepartmentalized grades 7 and 8, New York requires a "Generalist in Middle Childhood Education (Grades 5-9)" certificate. These middle school teachers must complete 30 semester hours in content-related coursework.
All new middle school teachers in New York are also required to pass a single-subject test from its New York State Teacher Certification Examination series.
Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, Part 52.21 http://eservices.nysed.gov/teach/certhelp/CertRequirementHelp.do http://www.nystce.nesinc.com/NY14_teachercertification.asp
Strengthen middle school teachers' subject-matter preparation.
New York is commended for not allowing middle school teachers to teach on a K-8 generalist license and for requiring those teaching middle grades in a non-departmentalized setting to receive a middle-grades certificate. However, to further strengthen middle school teachers' subject-matter preparation, New York should encourage middle school teachers who plan to teach multiple subjects to earn two minors in two core academic areas, rather than a single major. The state should retain its requirement for a subject-area major for middle school candidates who intend to teach a single subject.
New York recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.