The state should ensure that new elementary teachers have sufficient knowledge of the mathematics content taught in elementary grades.
Ohio does not articulate requirements to ensure that early childhood teacher candidates have sufficient mathematics content knowledge.
The state does not specify any coursework requirements for early childhood teacher candidates regarding mathematics content. Ohio has also adopted NCATE's National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) standards for approving its early childhood programs, but these standards lack any substantial academic content, including mathematics.
Ohio requires that all new early childhood teachers pass a general test with limited subject-matter substance, the Praxis II. This commercial test lacks a specific mathematics subscore, so one can likely fail the mathematics portion and still pass the test. Further, while this test does cover important elementary school-level content, it barely evaluates candidates' knowledge beyond an elementary school level, does not challenge their understanding of underlying concepts and does not require candidates to apply knowledge in nonroutine, multistep procedures.
Ohio Administrative Code 3301-24-03 and 3301-24-05 www.ets.org/praxis "No Common Denominator: The Preparation of Elementary Teachers in Mathematics by America's Education Schools," NCTQ, June 2008 http://www.nctq.org/p/publications/docs/nctq_ttmath_fullreport.pdf
Require teacher preparation programs to provide mathematics content specifically geared to the needs of elementary teachers.
Ohio 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.
Ohio should assess mathematics content with a rigorous assessment tool, such as the test required in Massachusetts, that evaluates mathematics knowledge beyond an elementary school level and challenges candidates' understanding of underlying mathematics concepts. Such a test could also be used to allow candidates to test out of coursework requirements. Teacher candidates who lack minimum mathematics knowledge should not be eligible for licensure.
Ohio asserted that the above analysis only addresses requirements for early childhood education (PK-3) and does not address requirements for the state's middle childhood education (4-9) certificate, which includes elementary grades.
The requirements for Ohio's middle childhood education (MCE) certificate are discussed in Goal 1-E. As stated in that goal's analysis, only candidates who are certified in the particular area of mathematics have to pass a single-subject math test. Those who are "middle school generalists" are only required to pass the general elementary content test, in which math subscores are not provided. Therefore, Ohio also does not ensure sufficient mathematics content knowledge for all teachers who earn the MCE certificate.